The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that 40,000 mortgages, worth £5.1bn, were advanced to buy-to-let investors in April, May and June. This is the highest since the third quarter of 2008 and this could see new buyers vying it out with investors as the housing market gathers pace.

Year-on-year, buy-to-let lending was 19% higher by volume and 31% higher by value, although it was picking up from relatively low levels. The peak during the housing boom for any one quarter was £12.7bn, which was reached in the autumns of 2006 and 2007. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said landlords had been taking the opportunity to remortgage their properties during the spring, and were also benefitting from strong demand from tenants.

Sales Manager at GO Property Services, Phil Wardle said ‘this growth is fuelled by a renewed appetite from investors, both new and experienced alike. There is also better availability of buy-to-let mortgages at lower rates and with more relaxed criteria than at any time in the past five years.’

A survey by specialist buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages, mirrors the figures from CML with 16% of landlords surveyed planning to add to their rental portfolios during the third quarter of the year. There has been no change in the types of property landlords are planning to invest in, with terraced houses remaining the most popular with 55% (of those expecting to buy) choosing this type of property. There has been a slight increase in popularity of detached houses, with 15% of landlords expecting to buy this property type compared to 12% last quarter.

‘It’s interesting to see the improvement in confidence amongst landlords in the private rented sector, said Phil. ‘We are seeing much more activity as a result of continuing strong rental demand and the investments made by landlords. Tenant demand is healthy, and this is likely to remain whilst the level of house building that the wider housing market so desperately needs remains at current levels.’