The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has just published figures for 2012 and they show that buy to let lending increased by 19% in 2012 compared to 2011. The total figure for gross buy to let loans was £16.4 billion which means that buy to let mortgages now represent 11.5% of the mortgage market.

In the fourth quarter of 2012 there were nearly 37,000 loans made to landlords of residential property. Our landlord insurance clients should note that this includes loans to landlords who are re-mortgaging as well as those borrowing for new purchases. In the whole of 2012 there were a total of 136,900 buy to let loans but nearly half of these were for re-mortgages.

If you are thinking of borrowing some money to increase your portfolio or perhaps to start in the business from scratch you will be interested to know that the CML reckon that lenders typically required a minimum 25% deposit on buy to let loans in 2012 with an average minimum rental cover of 125%.

We should love to know whether your feelings about the market are the same as those expressed by the CML. They say that the sector is benefitting from strong demand, which they feel is likely to continue. One of their comments will be particularly encouraging to those landlords seeking to buy more properties: “Landlords who can demonstrate a strong track record are in a good position to expand their portfolios”. However, CML go on to warn of the need for landlords to gain a good understanding of the environment in which they operate, citing things like landlord licensing as an area to watch. For the full picture visit the CML website www.cml.org.uk

Are you bullish about the prospects for the residential lettings sector? We always like to find out what our clients think about the market in their area of the country