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Buy-to-let borrowing stable despite slowdown in overall mortgage market

  • Buy-to-let increases from 15% to 17% of business in Q3 2019
  • Overall mortgage market shows signs of slowdown, with average number of mortgages introduced down 3%
  • Intermediaries expect buy-to-let mortgage business to increase by 1% in the next 12 months

Paragon’s latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Index , based on interviews with 201 mortgage intermediaries, has revealed a slowdown in overall mortgage business during Q3 2019, despite stability in the buy-to-let market.

The average number of mortgages introduced per office in Q3 2019 was 21.9, down 3% from 22.5 in the second quarter and the lowest figure since Q2 2017. The average number of mortgages introduced per adviser also fell, down from 7.9 to 7.4.

Despite this slowdown, the buy-to-let market has remained relatively stable since a notable decline in 2016, and comprised 17% of mortgages introduced in the quarter, up 2% from 15% in Q2 2019.

Remortgaging was again the principal type of borrowing amongst home owners, accounting for 46% of mortgages introduced in Q3 and maintaining the disparity that has been widening at modest pace over the last five years. Elsewhere, next time buyers accounted for 18% of new business, down from 19% in the previous quarter, and first-time buyers fell from 18% to 16%.

In terms of buy-to-let business completed in Q3 2019, first-time landlords grew from 11% to 13% and remortgaging climbed from 52% to 55%. However, the proportion of landlords raising finance for portfolio extension was smaller, down from 23% of business in the second quarter to 20%.

Looking ahead, intermediaries forecast a 2% pick-up in overall business over the next 12 months and a 1% increase in buy-to-let.

John Heron, Director of Mortgages at Paragon, said:

After a number of years of instability and negative sentiment in the buy-to-let market, it’s encouraging to see mortgage intermediaries forecasting increased buy-to-let business over the next 12 months. However, the market overall has been constrained by the current Brexit uncertainty and it remains difficult to see exactly when this will end.

The FACT Index score, designed to establish advisers’ overall confidence in the mortgage market is 97.8 for Q3, down 11.2 compared with six months ago and the lowest score recorded since Q1 2017.

Read the full Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Index report for Q3 2019 here.

11 November 2019