Are we starting the see the projected collapse in the buy-to-let market?
Lending figures would suggest… maybe. The value of mortgages fell by 20%, March 2018 compared to the same month a year ago, with the number of loans down from 6,800 to 5,500. The number of properties bought with buy-to-let loans in the first quarter stands at 16,300 compared to 18,400 in 2017. Data comes from UK Finance, but the picture might be more complex than a simple flight of money from the sector. Although changes to tax laws and extra stamp duty costs are bound to have had an effect on the number of transactions, commentators point to a move out of London – where short-to-medium term confidence in house prices is shaky – to other cities where property’s more affordable and yields more attractive.