Martin & Co, a massive lettings chain with 157 franchises, announced last week that, beginning December 18, it will be up for wheelers and dealers on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. The move is symptomatic of the high levels of confidence within the UK lettings market as it continues to grow.
Mortgages for Business have forecast a 25% increase in buy-to-let lending next year, reaching £25bn by the end of 2014. This will add further to the 135% rise since the doldrums of 2009, when BTL lending was just £8.5bn. Although the figures are still well below that of the heady (£45bn) days of 2007, it nonetheless marks a remarkable comeback.
Investment in ‘vanilla’ (standard residential) properties is expected to make up the bulk of the acquisitions next year, with 84% of landlords targeting these types of property. Landlords owning 11 or more properties are expected to expand the most, with two-thirds planning to bolster their portfolio. Over half (54%) of those with ten properties or less intent to invest also.
However, with the majority of landlords needing to refinance in order to invest, most property investors still feel the lenders ought to be doing more to support them. An easing of lending criteria, they feel, could boost the market further.
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