Buy to let mortgage lending is only about a third of the level hit when the market peaked before the global credit crisis, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
In a detailed analysis of the market for the three months to September 30, 2012, landlords took out 34,400 loans totalling £4.2 billion.
The figures show a rising trend in market growth – a 2% increase in the number of loans and an 8% increase in loan value up from £3.9 billion in the previous quarter.
For the nine months to the end of September, banks and building societies advanced landlords £11.8 billion for buying and remortgaging buy to let properties – 19% up on £9.9 billion advanced in the same period last year.
“Buy-to-let activity is recovering from a low base and remains subdued compared to the pre-credit crunch era. Buy-to-let lending this year is likely to total a little over one-third of its peak in 2007,” said the CML report.
“As a proportion of the mortgage market overall, buy-to-let lending remains lower than in 2007 and 2008. Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the mortgage market in the last few years, the market shares of three distinct groups of borrowers – buy-to-let investors, home movers and first-time buyers – have remained broadly stable.”
Mortgage terms have remained the same for more than three years. Although interest rates have fluctuated, the maximum loan-to-value is 75%, with rent cover of 125%.
CML director general Paul Smee said: ”Buy-to-let lending is continuing to recover, and to grow in line with expectations. As well as continuing to fund owner-occupation, lenders are contributing to the expansion of a strongly growing rental sector, helping to deliver choice and mobility for tenants.
“The growth of private renting looks set to continue in the years ahead, and lenders are committed to playing a full part in the debate about how best to meet the evolving needs of tenants in the future.”