New figures reveal a 21% increase in the number of buy to let loans and a 35% increase in their value compared to one year ago.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ (CML) latest figures show there were 18,000 buy to let loans advanced in March totalling £2.7 billion. The number of loans is up 12% on the previous month and 21% compared to March 2014.
Remortgaging more prevalent than purchases
Remortgages accounted for 9,400 loans worth some £1.4 billion, up 15% from February and up 29% on March 2014.
8,600 mortgages were for purchases, up 8% on February and 13% the same time last year. The value of these loans totalled some £1.2 billion.
Gross mortgage lending totalled £16.1 billion for the month of March, up 18% from February and 5% higher than a year ago in March 2014.
In total, 52,300 buy to let loans were advanced in the first quarter, down 3% on the final three months of 2014 but up 15% when compared to the same period in 2014. These loans totalled £7.8 billion in value; up 1% from the fourth quarter in 2014 and 28% higher than Q1 2014 figures.
Gross mortgage lending for Q1 hit £44.5 billion, down 13% from the final quarter of last year but only 4% below the lending levels reported one year ago.
First the first time since records began in 2006, buy to let loans made up 18% of gross lending in the UK. The CML suggests that this was mainly driven by both a fall in remortgage and house purchase loans to home-owners activity in this period.