Demand from buy to let landlords for remortgages likely to rise in 2016

Buy to let remortgage transactions outstripped purchases by more than two to one in 2015 but this could be reversed in 2016, according to the latest industry sector index report. Remortgages for vanilla buy to let property accounted for 64% of transactions with Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and Multi-Unit Freehold Blocks (MUFBs) seeing even greater remortgage activity at 78% and 88% of transactions respectively, the data from specialist brokers Mortgages for Business shows. The results aren’t surprising, according to David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business. ‘For some time now landlords have been making considerable savings through remortgaging. Many have also been releasing equity to make improvements and plan further purchases,’ he said. ‘However, I anticipate that we will see a reversal of this trend in the first quarter of this year as landlords hurry to expand their portfolios before the stamp duty surcharge kicks in on 01 April,’ he explained. ‘The number of enquiries for purchase finance is already well ahead of where we were this time last year, particularly from those looking to sell their personally owned property into a corporate vehicle,’ he added. Although yields across all property types rallied in the fourth quarter of 2015, in real terms they continue to plateau as rental income fails to keep pace with rising property prices. However, returns for the more complex properties remain healthy and well above the psychologically important 6% mark. The number of lenders operating in the market remained static at 33. However, the number of buy to let mortgage products available to borrowers grew slightly to an average of 975. ‘It is unlikely that this average figure will be topped going forward unless new lenders enter the market, or some of the existing providers start to offer products to limited companies. Of course, that figure is only an average, at one point at the beginning of December our tracking system showed 1,168 products,’ Whittaker pointed out. Continue reading

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