Buy-to-let finance products are 'readily available'

AFS Team·10 April 2014·4 min read
Buy-to-let finance products are 'readily available'
With house prices booming around the UK, potential landlords wanting to invest in buy-to-let properties are now enjoying a greater range of potential finance products, according to a survey.

Specialist firm Paragon Mortgages says that landlords who believe that there a wide availability of finance is now at its highest since the 2007 financial crisis with nearly half of landlords saying so.

That's a 2% increase on the same survey question asked at the end of last year and it underlines the confidence of landlords in the sector.

The latest figures compare well to the first quarter of 2011 when just 17% of landlords said that buy-to-let finance was widely available - the lowest figure recorded.

Growing numbers of buy-to-let mortgages available

John Heron, of Paragon, said it was vital for a competitive private rental sector that buy-to-let finance was widely available to applicants.

He added: “We are seeing an improvement in confidence among landlords as the market recovers and as we progress through the year we will see greater confidence when it comes to buy-to-let lending and there will be more innovation from lenders too.”

The number of buy-to-let finance products available to landlords has increased from a low point of 200 products and there are now more than 500 buy-to-let financial products available with more being planned.

Huge drop in number of serious arrears

Meanwhile, the increasing confidence in the buy-to-let sector in the UK has also been illustrated by news that there's been a massive reduction in the number of tenants who are seriously behind in their rent payments.

LSL Property Services put the figures together for their Tenant Arrears Tracker and they reveal that the figure has plunged by 35% in the past year.

Now, they say, there are around 68,000 households who are seriously behind with their rent but that is down from 105,000 in the same period in 2013.

The figure is continually improving after it peaked at 116,000 in 2012.

The firm's Paul Jardine said: “Many people are now experiencing a better financial spring with thousands of tenants looking towards 2014 being a more comfortable year without having serious rental arrears.”

Evictions of tenants also falls

In addition to the big drop in rental arrears, evictions have also dropped as a result and there are now 3% fewer court orders.

Mr Jardine added: “However there is still a long way to go and for tenants in serious financial hardship this will not feel like an improvement yet.”

LSL says there is now a clear trend emerging and the UK is enjoying a brighter economic situation and this also points to a stronger private rented sector which is growing with increasing rental yields and landlords enjoying capital growth of their portfolios too.