In the last few months, major changes have been made to the structure of buy-to-let opportunities in the UK; namely the implementation of changes to taxes on buy-to-let mortgages. However, recent reports from Money Facts have shown that buy-to-let mortgages could be much more accessible; landlords now have much more choice for these types of mortgages and approval numbers have also risen.
"It's encouraging that buy-to-let landlords have more mortgage choices than they have had at any time in almost 12 years. Total product numbers have increased by 397 over the past year and by 706 over the past two years," said Darren Cook, finance expert at moneyfacts.co.uk.
"Despite ongoing uncertainty in the property market, providers are not shying away from offering landlords a greater choice of [mortgages]...
"...although it is also evident from our research that heightened competition to try and attract buy-to-let business has not resulted in a fall in interest rates, as has recently happened in the residential mortgage sector."
With the largest number of buy-to-let mortgages available since 2007, landlords now have one of the greatest choices of lenders and offers; which in turn has increased the number of people who are able to get into property investment. Landlords now have a choice of over 2,100 buy-to-let mortgage products. The largest number prior to this was back in October 2007 when there were 3,305 products on the market (Mortgage Strategy, 2018).
This heightened number of mortgage products on offer - and the competition that has come with this between lenders - hasn't resulted in any falls in the interest rates, despite this being the prediction based on recent residential mortgage rate trends. Recent research by Money Facts showed that buy-to-let mortgage rates have increased by 0.2% to 3.12% since September 2018 for two-year fixes mortgages; and the five-year fixed mortgage now sees interests rates that are up 0.15% over the same period.
Despite these increases in interest rates, the opportunities for budding landlords and buy-to-let investors needing a mortgage are much better than they have been for the past decade, offering chances for more people to get into the industry.