Buy-to-let is a growth sector in property market

It has been estimated that it would take the average first-time home buyer more than 15 years to save up enough for a deposit on a home at the moment so it is not surprising that there is a growth in the number of private landlords offering property to rent.

“Demand for rental property is as strong as ever as mortgage funds remain out of reach for many would-be buyers and High Street banks remove scores of owner-occupier mortgages from the market,” according to David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business.

Buy-to-let is a growth sector in the property market.

The term was coined as recently as 1995 although this type of lending had existed for many years.

It is a type of residential investment where a property is bought, usually with the aid of a mortgage, purely to be rented out and typically to a male, aged between 35 and 55 with another job apart from property investment.

Nationally, 1.2 million people currently own property to rent, with the majority regarding their buy-to-let as their retirement nest egg, according to the National Landlords Association.

Locally, there are 5,500 rental properties in Angus owned by around 4,000 landlords.

The value of mortgages taken out to fund buy-to-let purchases rose by a third, year-on-year, to the first three months of 2012 as falling house prices and rising rents made the sector increasingly attractive to investors.

Amanda Wiewiorka of Wardhaugh Property Management in Forfar, said: “Anyone thinking of getting into buy-to-let, and their number is growing by the day as house prices fall, should take a five to ten year view, not look at this as a short-term plan.

“More landlords in Angus are buying up three to four bedroom homes which are popular with the growing number of families that are renting.

“This is a whole new market for buy-to-let and is particularly short on supply.”

As well as existing landlords taking steps to use the equity held in their assets to make new purchases, it appears home-owners are doing the same as they attempt to break into the lettings market.

Some home-buyers are using the equity in their current properties to invest in buy-to-let for the first time.

“There are still many great opportunities for landlords to maximise their yields from all sorts of property and my feeling is that buy-to-let lending will continue to grown during 2012,” said one industry insider.