London buy to let business picks up in Q1


New data from specialist buy to let broker Commercial Trust Limited, reveals that London buy to let business showed positive signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2019.

The number of submitted purchase mortgage applications for the capital, in the calendar year to April, rose by 4% on the previous quarter.

Q1 saw London regain its position as the leading region for buy to let business applications, with 15.8% of overall business, closely followed by the South East on 14.5%.

In Q4 of 2018, the South East had overtaken London for the first time.

Commercial Trust’s data ties-in with a recent report from London estate agent Chesterton’s, who recently reported a March increase in the number of people registering to look for and those offering properties, in London.

The East of England and the North West also enjoyed an increase in the proportion of buy to let applications submitted during Q1, with both accounting for 12.5% of this type of business.

The same two regions shared top billing for buy to let completions over the quarter, with each contributing 13% of overall completions.

Overall, remortgage buy to let applications continued to dominate in Q1, with 60% of business coming from landlords looking to refinance their mortgages.

Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust, commented:

“The effects of Brexit have been keenly felt in London and perhaps the stalling of house price growth has to some extent created a buyers’ market for buy to let.

“Our latest figures underline the importance of London and the South East within the buy to let market.

“For the first quarter of 2019, these two regions contributed over 30% of our buy to let purchase applications, an increase from the 26% recorded in Q4 of 2018.

“Whilst it is good news to see increased activity in London, movement is not restricted to that area and both the North West and East Anglia have also increased their proportion of overall purchase business during the quarter.

“With Brexit now pushed back to later in the year, the combination of low interest rates, a wide variety of mortgage product choice, stalling house prices and soaring tenant demand, many investors are of a mind to invest in the private rental sector.”