According to research by Moneyfacts, the number of buy-to-let mortgages available to landlords has hit a seven-year high, standing today at 1,011. In April 2008, there were 1,128, but by August that year, the number had plummeted to 476. Five years later, there were still only 460, but the growth over the last two years has seen that number more than double.
But the data shows that not only has choice increased dramatically, but that the rates on offer are highly favourable compared to previous years, allowing for greater returns on investment. The average variable rate buy-to-let mortgage in April 2008 â€“ at the height of the boom â€“ was 6.66%. Today, it is just 3.60%. Similarly with fixed rate mortgages, the average for the same periods were 6.48% and 3.80% respectively.
The spike in buy-to-let mortgages in recent months has been credited to the reforms that came into effect in April, which granted pensioners the freedom to withdraw the whole amount of their pension as a lump sum. According to the Chancellor, over £1 billion had been taken out by 60,000 people between April and June.
But finance experts stress that these conditions will not last forever, with a base rate rise perhaps not too far away, and potential legislative changes to the buy-to-let market always a threat to look out for.