Landlords expand their portfolios

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Increased buy-to-let mortgage availability is encouraging investors to buy more property.

According to the latest quarterly Private Rented Trends Survey from specialist buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages, the average participating landlord’s portfolio now consists of 14.7 properties, up from 13.3 properties in the second quarter of 2013.

In the next 12 months, landlords expect to have 14.8 properties in their portfolios.

During the third quarter of the year, landlords also continued to report improvement in the availability of buy-to-let mortgages, with 37% of landlords saying finance is now reasonably available.

This represents a steady improvement on 35% in Q2 and a significant increase on the 25% who thought buy-to-let funding was reasonably available a year ago.

Most landlords were positive about tenant demand levels, with 91% of respondents saying that demand was stable or growing. The average rental yield was unchanged at 6.4%.

John Heron, Director of Mortgages, said:

“The third quarter survey paints an encouraging picture of growth in the private rented sector, suggesting landlords increasingly have the confidence to invest because of improved access to finance.

“Demand for private rented accommodation remains high and it is vital that this emerging confidence in the landlord community is nurtured in order to maintain the growth in supply.

“Lenders are clearly improving their buy-to-let finance propositions in a bid to increase lending volumes. This is helping landlords expand their portfolios but we must ensure that this lending is sustainable and particularly that lending remains affordable to borrowers over the long term.”