On the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) announcement on buy-to-let activity in the second quarter of 2009, Ian Potter, operations manager of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), comments:
“This news from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, whilst not unexpected, is nonetheless confirmation that things are starting to pick up for buy-to-let investors.
“We are encouraged by the fact that mortgage arrears seem to be declining, which is not only of benefit to landlords facing financial difficulty but also to their tenants who have been threatened with the repossession of their home and who have very little protection against this.
“What the CML data also shows, as with its statistics on repossessions also out today, is that the buy-to-let market is experiencing a lag effect, driven by an almost complete drying up of lending early in the year, when the recession was being most acutely felt.
“In our own research, ARLA members have been reporting a rise in buy-to-let activity in the first two quarters of this year with around double the number of landlords buying more properties for the two consecutive quarters than in the previous three months.
“Clearly low interest rates and falling house prices, coupled with a strong demand for private rented accommodation, are helping to boost what is a crucial component of the UK economy, the property market.
“What is still needed for buy-to-let to be fully stimulated once again is an increase in responsible mortgage lending from banking institutions. An illiquid market can never be a positive one for landlords, tenants or the wider economy and I would urge the Government to continue to apply pressure on lenders to make this a reality.” Source ARLA