New data from UK Finance has shown that activity for buy to let mortgages continued to remain stagnant in December 2018, with investor landlords taking out only 5,100 new mortgages for buy to let home purchases. This is a reduction of 5.6 per cent from December 2017.
According to data provided by the organisation, the buy to let mortgage total value fell to approximately £700m, a drop of 12.5 per cent. Fewer buy to let investors are reportedly actively searching to commit to investing in property, following the income tax and stamp duty crackdown, which has resulted in a squeeze on landlord profits.
In 2018, 66,400 new buy to let purchases were completed, which is approximately 11.5 per cent less purchases made than 2017. New lending reached £9bn during 2018, which was a 15 per cent drop from 2017.
Co-founder and CEO of Bricklane.com, Simon Heawood, explained that landlords are feeling the impact of being caught in the crosshairs of HMRC, as the government carries on targeting the buy to let sector. He stated that there is no surprise that some private landlords are debating whether to abandon the sector altogether, as the costs are starting to outweigh the benefits.
According to Matt Andrews, the mortgages managing director at specialist lender, Masthaven, to help increase the much needed supply of private rented sector homes, more must be done to create incentives for people to choose to invest in the buy to let sector.
From regulatory updates to tax alterations, the sector appears to be reeling from the impact of recent changes. For the sector to remain attractive to buy to let investors as well as to avoid more market uncertainty, greater lending products and incentives are key.
In addition to the figures discussed above, 12,400 new remortgages for buy to let properties were completed in December 2018. This is 25.3 per cent more than remortgages completed in December 2017. In terms of value, this equalled £2bn worth of lending in December 2018, which is an increase of 25 per cent year-on-year.
In 2018, 169,100 new remortgages for buy to let properties were completed, around 11.2 per cent higher than 2017. New lending in 2018 came to a total value of £27bn, which was 11.6 per cent higher than new lending in 2017.
Haart Estate Agent’s CEO, Paul Smith, stated that while the statistics show further drops in buy to let purchasing, it is encouraging to see that remortgages for buy to let properties have reached a record high, demonstrating that landlords still have faith in the sector.
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