Buy-to-let lending increased in the third quarter of 2009 - it was ten per cent higher than in the previous three-month period.

That is according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which said this data represents the first increase in gross lending in the sector for two years.

Lending totalled £2.1 billion in total, while the number of buy-to-let loans advanced grew from 21,600 to 23,700 between the quarters.

The CML's director general Michael Coogan said the figures show that buy-to-let is here to stay.

"Buy-to-let lenders are among those facing some of the biggest challenges in raising mortgage funding, so the improved figures are all the more welcome." he added.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, said the data shows how strong and resilient the buy-to-let market is. He claimed that the sector has proved it can cop in a tough economic period

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