Buy-to-let may swing property market

| January 2, 2008 | 0 Comments

The end of the festive season will allow the nation to return to its obsession with the housing market and the likelihood of a crash.

So far, forecasts suggest that the slowdown in the market will continue, with values falling by up to 10%.

The buy-to-let investment sector could hold some surprises for the overall property market because the credit squeeze is making life increasingly difficult for investors.

Purchases are slowing and some analysts have predicted a mass exodus from the rental property market by cash-strapped landlords.

However, demand for rental property remains strong and Fionnuala Earley, the chief economist at Nationwide, is optimistic, stating that: “We are in a market where there is great tenant demand because first-time buyers are unable to get on to the housing ladder.”

She believes that lower interest rates and large tenant numbers will keep buy-to-let investors in business.

In December, the Council of Mortgage Lenders published figures that highlight the growing importance of the buy-to-let investor market.

During 2007, around 340,000 loans and remortgages were secured by buy-to-let landlords.

At the same time, figures from the Halifax for 2007 estimate that only 300,000 first-time buyers had entered the market.

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