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Landlord mortgage availability bounces back

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Written by: Christina Hoghton
27/09/2021
The number of buy-to-let mortgages on offer fell sharply during the first wave of the pandemic but numbers have risen and choice is back

Buy-to-let product availability has soared to its highest level since 2007, acccording to Moneyfacts.

The financial information provider said there were 2,968 products on offer in the buy-to-let sector at the start of September, the highest number seen on its records since October 2007 (3,305).

It means product availability has overtaken the choice on offer in March 2020, before the impact of the pandemic was felt across the sector. There are now 71 products more than there were on offer pre-pandemic in March 2020 (2,897).

Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “As we pass the 25th anniversary of the first buy-to-let mortgages as we know them, our data gives landlords cause for positivity, as the number of products for them to choose from has risen by 153 this month, and at 2,968 is 1,162 higher than this time last year.

“The resilience of this sector in the aftermath of a challenging 18-months is clear as choice now exceeds the number of deals available before the pandemic in March 2020 by 71 options.”

Lower rates

The average overall two- and five-year fixed buy-to-let rates have reduced this month by 0.03% and 0.04% respectively, added Moneyfacts.

At 2.94% the two-year fixed average is the lowest it has been since January (2.89%), and at 3.25% the five-year fixed equivalent is the lowest since December 2020 (3.25%).

Williams added: “As rental demand remains high, buy-to-let could be a worthwhile investment and the rise in overall product choice and fall in average rates is positive. However, a note of caution as lenders’ enthusiasm to improve ranges seems to dissipate at the top end of the buy-to-let loan-to-value spectrum.

“The maximum 85% LTV bracket has not only seen availability stall at 19 deals, but also the average two- and five-year fixed rates on offer for landlords with just 15% equity or deposit are a quite staggering 0.88% and 0.44% above their September 2019 equivalents, indicating that while lenders are competing for business, this eagerness does not seem to extend to the riskier end of the market yet.”

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