While there may still be some way to go before a full recovery is seen, the signs are that the buy-to-let market is in a buoyant mood.
The Mortgage Works asked brokers about their experiences in 2010 and their expectations for the buy-to-let market in 2011. The survey focused on first-time landlords, professional landlords, buy-to-let products and the market as a whole.
51% of brokers think the number of new landlords will increase in 2011, compared to 24% who think it will decrease.
56% of brokers believe that when a client buys their first buy-to-let property, they will remain open minded about future purchases.
Ian Andrew, Head of Intermediary Sales at Nationwide and The Mortgage Works, said: "These results show that the outlook for first-time landlords in 2011 is broadly positive. At the same time, we also recognise that some challenges do remain. For example, we know 45% of brokers found the number of first-time landlord applications in the second half of 2010 had decreased, compared to 33% who found that it had increased."
48% of brokers believe professional landlords will buy more properties in 2011. 32% of brokers believe that professional landlords will hold on to their properties and not make any more purchases. Of the 15% of brokers who think professional landlords will sell some of their properties, 12% actually think professional landlords will sell and buy properties.
Ian Andrew said: "The positive outlook of the first-time landlord market is also reflected in the professional landlord market. The overwhelming majority of brokers believe that most professional landlords will either maintain their stock or buy more properties in 2011, indicating a stable and improving market place. Either way, I think we can all be encouraged by this optimism, which is further supported by the fact that only 3% of brokers surveyed believe professional landlords will sell some of their properties."
70% of brokers found the majority of their buy-to-let business in 2010 came from purchases rather than remortgage customers. 31% of brokers made 16 or more buy-to-let applications in 2010.
Ian Andrew said: "While nowhere near the volumes of 2007, 2010’s buy-to-let lending reached over £9.5 billion. This was up from £8.5 billion in 2009 and is expected to rise again in 2011². This suggests that the buy-to-let market is steadily on its way back up, which is great news for landlords and brokers alike."
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