"Rapid expansion" for buy-to-let sector

Posted: 24 May 2006 10:22:28 GMT

            Property News - "Rapid expansion" for buy-to-let sector

The UK's buy-to-let sector is continuing to go from strength-to-strength this year, with landlords renewing their enthusiasm for the popular investment strategy.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that interest in buy-to-let dipped in 2004 and in the first half of 2005, but as noted by UCB Loans the last year has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Mid-2004 to mid-2005 was the first year in which buy-to-let purchases ever decreased, but there was a sudden leap of 40 per cent in the number of new buy-to-let mortgages in the second half of last year," said Keith Astill, managing director of UCB Loans.

"This momentum has carried over into 2006, with rising rents and increasing numbers of tenants making the market attractive to landlords," he added.

Demand from tenants has been gradually increasing in recent months helped partially by the number of potential first-time buyers who are instead choosing to rent as house prices soar.

According to Mr Astill, there is still huge variation across the UK in terms of buy-to-let activity, although London is one area that has enjoyed distinct improvement.

East London in particular is becoming popular with landlords, thanks in part to the excitement stemming from the successful Olympics bid.

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