Buy-to-let mortgages slip as legislative changes push more landlords away

Mortgages for new buy-to-let house purchases slid 1.5% year on year in November 2017, while buy-to-let remortgages dropped by 3.6%, amid further signs that legislative changes are causing landlords to flee the market.

That’s according to new figures from UK Finance, which found there were 6,600 new buy-to-let house purchase mortgages during the month. By value, this was £900m worth of lending, which was the same as a year ago.

There were 13,500 new buy-to-let remortgages in November 2017, worth a total of £2.1bn and down 4.5% on a year ago.

But there was better news when it comes to first-time buyers and home movers.

There were 34,800 new first-time buyer mortgages in the month, up 15.2% on the same month a year earlier. That equated to £5.6bn of new lending, up 16.7% on a year ago.

UK Finance found that the average first-time buyer is 30 and has an annual income of £40,000.

Meanwhile, there were 36,200 new home mover mortgages, which was a 16.8% increase on last year. The £7.5bn of lending in the month was 19% more year on year. The average home mover is 39 and has an income of £54,000, according to UK Finance.

There were 38,400 home owner remortgages during November, some 8.5% more than the same month a year ago. The £6.5bn of remortgaging was 10.2% up year on year.

Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “The data shows housing market activity remains buoyant, despite November’s rise in the base rate.

“Steady increases in lending for house purchases together with increases in home owner remortgages reflect a keenness among consumers to benefit from still historically low interest rates, and a highly competitive marketplace.

“In contrast, declines in buy-to-let lending reflect the changing regulatory and fiscal environment for landlord businesses, where some landlords might be inclined to reappraise the viability of their portfolios.”

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