Mortgage brokers predict growth in buy-to-let business

Mortgage brokers expect an uptick in buy-to-let mortgage business over the next 12 months, Paragon’s FACT research has revealed.

In the final quarter of 2019 one in four (24.5%) buy-to-let mortgages were written for landlords looking to extend their portfolios, the highest level since Q1 2017.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon managing director of mortgages, said: “Buy-to-let lending has been driven by remortgage business in recent years, so it’s great to see the proportion of lending for portfolio extension purposes increase and hit its highest level for nearly three years.

“It’s also encouraging to see that the balance of brokers expecting to write more buy-to-let business is positive for 2020 as confidence has been subdued for much of the past four years.

“These are green shoots and we hope that they will continue throughout this year on the back of a more certain regulatory, economic and political environment.”

One in five brokers expects to introduce more buy-to-let business in 2020, compared to 11% who say it will fall.

Some 50% of buy-to-let applications were for remortgaging in Q4 2019, down from 55% the previous quarter.

The majority (61%) were doing so to secure a better rate of interest, with nearly a third (31%) remortgaging to raise capital.

Overall, brokers said that buy-to-let accounted for 17.7% of overall business during Q4 2019, the highest proportion for a year.