The number of buy-to-let properties bought in 2011 rose by 84,000 according to the latest figures produced by the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML). Statistics produced by the body represent a major boost to residential lettings agents, with the supply of private renting housing on the rise according to the figures.
A total of 34,800 buy-to-let properties had their mortgages advanced during the fourth quarter of 2011, with 15,600 of these remortgaged equating to a total value of £4 billion for the period.
These results echoed similar gains over the third quarter of 2011, when 34,300 loans were approved at a total value of £4 billion. More importantly, the number of buy-to-let properties that saw loans advanced was up significantly on results for the final quarter of 2010. During this period, just 26,300 buy-to-let mortage loans were approved at a total value of £2.9 billion.
These gains remained some way off the height of the market during the third quarter of 2007, when lending totalled over 93,000 loans worth a total of £12.7 billion. But while the market for buy-to-let properties continues to operate at a lower level in comparison, the figures were further indication of the continued recovery of the market as a whole. Commenting on the latest data, CML director general Paul Smee said: "Buy-to-let lending continues to perform well."
"Demand for rented property remains high, so the rationale for buy-to-let remains strong, and there is little reason to foresee any change to this positive outlook for the sector," he said.
According to the CML figures, buy-to-let mortgages equate to around 13 per cent of the total outstanding value of mortgages in the UK, with buy-to-let lending accounting for almost 11 per cent of gross mortgage lending during the last quarter of the year.
"The benefits of the availability of good quality, private rented housing should not be overlooked," Mr Smee explained.
"Especially as there are many households which need the flexibility and mobility that the private rented sector is well placed to provide."