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BTL mortgage market remains stable despite overall lending dip

Lending in the buy-to-let mortgage market has been steady in recent months, despite a slowdown in overall mortgage business, according to Paragon.

The lender's latest report, based on interviews with over 200 mortgage intermediaries, found that buy-to-let lending accounted for 17% of mortgages introduced in Q3 2019.

This is up from 15% in the second quarter of the year and a significant improvement on the notable decline recorded during 2016.

Paragon reports that the number of first-time landlords climbed from 11% to 13% during the last quarter, while the rate of remortgaging grew to 55%, up from 52%.

However, the proportion of landlords and investors raising finance to extend their portfolios dropped from 23% to 20% between Q2 and the end of Q3 2019.

The intermediaries questioned forecast a 1% increase in buy-to-let lending over the next 12 months.

Looking at the overall mortgage market, the average number of mortgages introduced per office in Q3 2019 was 21.9, down 3% from the 22.5 recorded in the previous quarter.
It's also the lowest figure recorded since Q2 2017.

The typical number of mortgages introduced per adviser during Q3 also dipped to 7.4 when compared to the previous three months (7.9).

John Heron, director of mortgages at Paragon, comments: "After a number of years of instability and negative sentiment in the buy-to-let market, it’s encouraging to see mortgage intermediaries forecasting increased buy-to-let business over the next 12 months."

He says that the overall mortgage market has been constrained by Brexit uncertainty and that it is difficult to ascertain when this unsettled period will end.

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