Buy to let demand down 12%

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The Council of Mortgage Lenders recenty released figures to show that landlords borrowed £3bn in August, down 12% year on year.

There were a total of 19,400 loans, up 4% compared to July but down 13% compared to August 2015.

Gross buy-to-let lending remained substantially down on year earlier levels but there were 1,000 more buy-to-let loans in August than in July. Nearly two thirds of buy-to-let loans were remortgages rather than house purchase.

Home-owners borrowed £12.2bn for house purchase, up 14% month-on-month and 11% year-on-year. They took out 66,000 loans, up 13% on July and 9% on August 2015.

First-time buyers borrowed £5.1bn, up 13% on July and 24% on August last year, which equated to 31,800 loans, up 12% month-on-month and 19% year-on-year.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented: "House purchase activity bounced back from a dip in July, reflecting resilience in first-time buyer activity.  Mortgage rates remain at or close to historic lows, and the re-pricing of mortgages following August’s base rate cut should help to underpin a continuing, strong appetite for home-ownership over the coming months.

Buy-to-let by contrast continues to operate at lower levels five months after the stamp duty change on second properties. This appears to be a long-term trend, and with lenders potentially tightening affordability checks ahead of the tax changes in April 2017, activity on the buy-to-let house purchase side may well remain at current levels."

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