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Written by Conor Shilling

The buy-to-let sector overtook other areas of the UK’s housing market in the first month of 2015, research suggests. 
 
Last month – while the rest of the market was subdued - buy-to-let activity growth 37% compared to December 2014, according to Connells Survey and Valuation
 
The organisation’s Corporate Services Director John Bagshaw says the increased activity in the sector is due to landlords investing more thanks to a record number of mortgage products and low mortgage rates. 
 
The data suggests that the first-time buyer sector was the only other sector of the market to experience month-on-month growth, rising 3% - this is despite a considerable annual decrease of 28% when compared to January 2014. 
 
John Bagshaw believes the annual decrease in first time buyer activity is due to restricted lending criteria, introduced courtesy of April 2014’s Mortgage Market Review. 
 
However he says that last month’s growth is encouraging news for first-time buyers as it shows that the sector is now stabilising to the new regulatory landscape.
 
Overall, the total activity in January saw a 4% fall since December 2014 while on an annual basis activity was down 23%. 
 
Commenting on the rest of the market, Bagshaw continues: “The current economic outlook indicates that low inflation and therefore the low Bank rate will continue for some time. As a result it appears that this is giving rise to optimism as more borrowers anticipate that lenders will be able to lower their mortgage rates even further. They are now waiting before securing a deal.”
 
“However, it is worth noting that current mortgage rates might not get any cheaper as the deflation in the eurozone may affect swap rates soon. As many households look for ways to cut monthly costs, taking advantage of these rates now is a good idea.”
 

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