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46% of brokers report ‘weak’ BTL demand


Almost half of brokers have reported muted demand for buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages in the third quarter of 2016.

A report published by Paragon Mortgages has revealed that 46% of intermediaries reported ‘weak’ or ‘very weak’ demand in the wake of major changes to the BTL sector.

Although the proportion of intermediaries describing landlord demand as ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ rose by four percentage points since the second quarter, this still accounted for just 9% of those interviewed.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, said: “While any improvement in sentiment is to be welcomed, the latest data does indicate that confidence remains muted, especially in the buy-to-let market. 

“At a time of high demand for private rented sector properties, this dynamic could lead to reduced supply, higher rents and put greater pressure on the housing market.”

Paragon’s report follows a slew of changes to BTL finance, which some claimed had turned landlords into a ‘political football’.

These included restrictions on tax relief for BTL mortgage interest payments, new minimum standards in BTL mortgage underwriting and a 3% rise in stamp duty land tax.

Last month, some industry experts warned that a ban on letting agent fees in the Autumn Statement could further reduce demand for BTL mortgages.

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