Is this a good time for buy-to-let landlords to expand their portfolios?

Not according to brokers, fewer of whom believe that this is a good time for landlords to grow their portfolios than at the beginning of the year according to research commissioned by privately funded bridging lender West One Loans.

In February, when West One Loans last surveyed brokers on their confidence in the buy-to-let market, 83 per cent said they thought it was a good time for investors to expand their portfolios. Now, that number has fallen to 81 per cent while the number of brokers who are unsure of the market has doubled from 5 per cent in February, to 10 per cent in August.

“Landlords and brokers have different opinions of the market. While fewer brokers think it is a good time to invest in buy-to-let, high demand from landlords suggests they feel otherwise.” said Duncan Kreeger, chairman of West One Loans.

In February, 73 per cent of brokers offering buy-to-let bridging products said they were doing more business than they were six months before.  This has now risen to 98 per cent.

Around 38 per cent of brokers’ bridging customers are now landlords, compared to 37 per cent six months ago. The increase has been driven by demand from professional rather than amateur landlords, with professional landlords now representing 25.4 per cent of brokers’ bridging customers, compared to 23.3 per cent in February. Kreeger commented: “We aren’t seeing a massive increase in the number of brokers saying buy-to-let is booming – this is a moderate, sustained rate of growth. Buy-to-let should represent a sound investment for the future.  But professional landlords are finding it difficult to get access to finance from high street lenders.”

Article courtesy of the Independent Blog

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