Sharp decline in buy-to-let lending as tax and tougher mortgage rules bite

Added on May 17th, 2018 in Property News

Buy-to-let mortgage lending plummeted during March, as reflected by the latest data released by UK Finance.

Fresh figures from the banking industry group show that the value of mortgages taken out by landlords in March dived by almost 20% compared with the corresponding month of last year.

A total of 5,500 buy-to-let loans were secured by landlords in the month, down from 6,800 in March last year.

A total of 16,300 properties were acquired with a buy-to-let mortgage during the first three moth of this year, down 11% on the 18,400 homes purchased in the first quarter of 2017.

Hansen Lu at Capital Economics believes that it is unlikely that buy-to-let will “recover anytime soon” as tax changes look set to “erode landlords’ returns”.

Despite the fall in new buy-to-let lending, there was an increase in buy-to-let remortgages, which saw a 0.8% rise with 12,600 completions.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Remortgaging levels softened in March, after a busier than usual start to the year saw customers locking into attractive deals ahead of a potential interest rate rise.

“There has been relatively flat growth in lending to first-time buyers, reflecting recent Bank of England figures showing a fall in mortgage approvals.

 “Meanwhile the buy-to-let market remains subdued, as recent tax and regulatory changes continue to have an impact on demand.”

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