Buy To Let Updated:
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that new buy-to-let lending in the first quarter of the year totalled £3.7 billion, amounting to 32,300 loans.
This represents a 32% rise from the same three months in 2011, although it was 5% down on the last quarter of 2011.
The CML said that buy-to-let lending is currently around a third of levels seen in 2007.
The buy-to-let sector continues to increase its share of the mortgage market, with buy-to-let mortgages representing an estimated 12.8% of the total value of outstanding mortgages at the end of the first quarter, up from 12.6% at the end of 2011 and 12.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2011.
The total number of buy-to-let mortgages stands at just over 1.4 million, with a total value of £159.4 billion.
In terms of loan performance, the number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears fell a little in the first quarter of 2012, and the arrears rate on buy-to-let mortgages continues to be lower than in the owner-occupied sector.
At the end of the first quarter, around 1.7% of buy-to-let mortgages were in arrears of more than three months (including cases where a receiver of rent has been appointed), compared with around 2% of owner-occupier mortgages.
"Even though buy-to-let lending is running at only around a third of its peak levels, the sector is continuing its gradual expansion," said Paul Smee, director general of the CML.
"It has become an important part of the overall landscape of housing provision in the UK ."
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