Buy-to-let lending down as remortgaging continues to drive activity

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The number of buy-to-let mortgage loans fell by over a fifth during April, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The organisation recorded 5,300 buy-to-let loans for property purchases during April, down by over 20% from the previous month.

On an annual basis, the number of loans issued for purchases soared by over 26%. However, it was during April 2016 when the controversial 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let purchases was introduced.

The value of buy-to-let mortgage loans dropped by 11% between March and April. Meanwhile, annually, values increased by over a third.

The CML says that remortgaging continues to drive activity in the buy-to-let lending market, accounting for over two thirds of overall activity in April.

Figures show, however, that remortgaging activity in the buy-to-let sector was down by over 13% month-on-month in April and almost 9% on an annual basis.

“April comparisons are distorted by the weakness last year following the stamp duty changes, and the normal seasonal lending surge in March,” explains Paul Smee, CML director general.

“Heading into the summer months, we expect the market to remain slightly lopsided.”

“Buy-to-let and home movers may well remain subdued, as they have been for the last six months.”

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