Buy-to-let mortgages double in number over last year

More than double the number of buy-to-let mortgage products are available now compared to this time a year ago.

According to specialist broker Mortgages For Business, in the first three months of 2010, an average of 142 products were available to buy-to-let investors. This figure more than doubled to an average of 298 products in Q1 2011.

This rise is due in part to the entrance, or re-entrance, of four mortgage lenders to the market but, says the broker, can be attributed mainly to lender response to high demand from the investor market and an easing of lending criteria which has allowed for more diverse product ranges.

Average loan to values for buy-to-let transactions are now at 66%, three percentage points up from the end of 2010 and six percentage points up from the end of 2009.

There has also been an easing of criteria for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) transactions. Average LTVs for these mortgages are now 63% compared to 61% at the end of 2010.

David Whittaker, managing director at Mortgages for Business, said: "As the owner-occupier market continues its slow, ambling advance through no-man's land, the private rental sector is flourishing.

"Unprecedented demand from renters is encouraging professional landlords and investors to grow their portfolios and this demand has been met to some degree by lenders."

However, lenders continue to surcharge buy-to-let borrowers with near-punitive rates,

For example, yesterday NatWest Intermediary Solutions introduced two new remortgage products - one for home purchase and the other for buy-to-let.

In the first, the 75% LTV, residential remortgage has an initial rate of 3.09% with a fee of £499. In the buy-to-let deal, there is the same 75% LTV, but an initial rate of 5.79% with a fee of £999.


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