The number of buy-to-let loans being taken out is at its highest level in four years. Around £1 in every £7 lent on mortgages last year went to landlords — a total of £16.4 billion.
There are a number of reasons for this. Falling house prices in many parts of the country have prompted existing landlords to snap up more properties.
Banks and building societies, who are worried about lending to ordinary homebuyers, are happy to lend to landlords, who are viewed as less of a risk.
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And, finally, hundreds of existing homeowners are dipping their toe in to buy-to-let for the first time. Some are doing it by keeping hold of their existing property when they move into a new home, and renting out the old one. Others, who don’t want to move, simply spot a bargain in their local area.
Experts believe these first-time landlords are being motivated by the income that second homes can generate, and are hoping to use this to bolster their savings and, ultimately, their pension..