The combined cost of buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage repayments in the past 12 months is £21.9bn according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).
Research from the NLA reveals that approximately one million (1.05m) landlords in the UK have some form of BTL borrowing, with the average cost of their mortgage repayments in the past year £20,950.
The staggering figure, which excludes upfront deposits of typically 25% of property value, emerges shortly after the Bank of England announced a high of £8bn of BTL lending in quarter three of 2014.
The NLA’s findings show that landlords with smaller portfolios (1-4 properties) spent an average of £10,335 on repayments last year, compared to £55,285 spent by those with larger portfolios (11 or more properties).
On average it takes six weeks for a landlord to secure a BTL mortgage, with one in five (19%) landlords waiting over two months to complete their BTL application.
Carolyn Uphill, NLA chairman, said: “These figures really hammer home just how much money private landlords put into providing much needed homes for the UK’s estimated nine million renters, especially if we consider that such a large proportion are single-property or smaller portfolio landlords.
“The majority of private individual investors are keeping a supply of well-maintained homes on the market when previous governments have failed to incentivise or stimulate more housing and social housing has been in long term decline.
“There’s no sign of either of these issues letting up anytime soon so is it any wonder that BTL lending is at an all-time high? It’s hard to imagine exactly where all this investment would come from if landlords weren’t financing housing to such an extent.”
The NLA is also reminding landlords to prepare for future rises to interest rates and has produced new guidance about dealing with the issue in order to minimise the effect it has on their lettings business.