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Buy-to-let mortgage availability drops

Buy-to-let mortgage availability drops

Category: Buy To Let

Updated: 11/01/2017
First Published: 09/01/2017

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

It's been a turbulent year for buy-to-let (BTL), with various Government interventions impacting the sector and activity dampening as a result. Activity has taken a particular turn in the last month, with our latest figures revealing the largest drop in the number of available BTL mortgage products since 2009.

The figures, from the latest Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report – due to be published tomorrow – show that 74 BTL deals have been withdrawn from the market in a single month, the largest reduction since March 2009, with the number of products available now standing at 1,408 (see table below). This means that availability has returned to levels not seen since July last year, with providers actively withdrawing from the sector.

Jan-16
Jul-16 Dec-16 Jan-17
Total number of live BTL products 1,256 1,402 1,482 1,408
Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

This is a particularly unusual occurrence for this time of year – usually, the month of December is quiet in the sector, with providers gearing up for the festive break. The fact that so many were actively amending their ranges during the month implies that other factors must be at play, and analysis suggests that new affordability rules have been the key driver.

"With tougher affordability rules having come into play on 1 January, it is no wonder the BTL market has taken a hit," said Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts. "This could also explain why the 75% loan-to-value (LTV) sector has seen the largest reduction in product numbers, falling from 606 to 540 in just one month, with the new rules reducing the amounts landlords will be able to borrow."

"Alongside this, major changes to the way in which income from property rentals is taxed will be coming in April, so lenders are perhaps withdrawing products to get back to their 'core' range as they wait and see what other providers will be doing in the run up to April.

"2017 is set to be an uncertain year, which could be a lethal cocktail for landlords, particularly now there are less products on the market. Anyone unsure about their options should seek out a financial adviser."

What next?

If you're still thinking of taking the plunge or expanding your rental portfolio, it's more important than ever to make sure you're getting the right deal. Compare the top BTL mortgages to get started.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

 
 
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