Buy-to-let is here to stay

The lender conducted a survey among its mortgage intermediaries, and found that 35 per cent of business conducted by those processing mortgage applications of between 10 and 20 million pounds per annum was in the buy-to-let market.

These strong figures were confirmed from the lenders own figures which found that in the last 12 months there has been a huge rise in buy-to-let applications, with applications in March up 141 per cent on the same period last year.

Jeff Knight, IFA marketing manager at Sun Bank, said: "Along with our own evidence, recent CML figures also illustrate that buy to let has continued to grow. More than 41,000 loans were taken out in the second half of last year, taking the total number of outstanding mortgages to 184,900. New lending has brought the overall value of loans to £14.7 billion, up from £11.3 billion six months earlier. We believe that the outlook remains positive and will continue to grow, albeit at a lower rate than we have seen over the last couple of years.

"Much has been made of the importance of the supply and demand balance in the buy to let market however, the market has a built in stabiliser to protect it from any fluctuations. During economic downturns capital appreciation slows but rental yields increase because there is greater demand for rented properties. With lower prices, experienced landlords often look for alternative properties to buy at this time.

"On the other hand, landlords also benefit from capital appreciation when prices rise. Over the last couple of years, when house prices have grown, we have seen many people enter the market for the first time as they look for alternative ways of investing for the longer term. We are also noticing a trend of owning more than one property now, as people gain from their market experience. All these factors help retain the balance between supply and demand."