Optimism is returning to the buy-to-let market after research revealed landlord numbers are set to rise this year.
A positive outlook for the coming year in the buy-to-let sector has been painted by brokers who are active in the field.
A new survey by The Mortgage Works found that the majority of brokers believe the number of new landlords will increase in the coming year.
In addition, very few professional landlords are expected to look to sell part of their stock in 2011.
Just under half of the brokers surveyed believe professional landlords will buy more properties in 2011, while a third anticipate they will hold on to their properties and not make any more purchases.
Meanwhile, well over half (56%) of brokers believe that when a client buys their first buy-to-let property, they will remain open minded about future purchases.
While admitting there may still be some way to go before a full recovery is seen, the lender said the signs are that the buy-to-let market is in a buoyant mood.
"The positive outlook of the first-time landlord market is also reflected in the professional landlord market," said Ian Andrew, head of intermediary sales at Nationwide and The Mortgage Works.
"The overwhelming majority of brokers believe that most professional landlords will either maintain their stock or buy more properties in 2011, indicating a stable and improving market place.
"Either way, I think we can all be encouraged by this optimism, which is further supported by the fact that only 3% of brokers surveyed believe professional landlords will sell some of their properties."
While accepting that volumes of buy-to-let mortgage lending are nowhere near the levels seen in 2007 prior to the financial crisis, Mr Andrew points out 2010's buy-to-let lending reached over £9.5 billion.
"This was up from £8.5 billion in 2009 and is expected to rise again in 2011," he added.
"This suggests that the buy-to-let market is steadily on its way back up, which is great news for landlords and brokers alike."
Whether you're a prospective or existing landlord, finding the right buy-to-let mortgage deal is likely to have proven more difficult than it once was in recent times.
We have recently teamed up with buy-let-let mortgage broker Openworks to help make your life easier.
In addition, our buy-to-let mortgage best buy charts are constantly updated with the best buy-to-let mortgages that become available.
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