Landlords have more mortgage products to choose from this month, although the range is still well below levels seen earlier this year

The number of buy-to-let mortgages has slowly started to creep up after being shrunk by half during the lock-down.

Landlords were limited to a choice of 1,455 products in May – down from 2,897 in March – but during the last two months lenders have added 283 more products to their ranges. There are now 134 more two-year fixed products in the buy-to-let sector than there were at the start of May, along with 164 more five-year fixed rate products, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk. It says average rates have stayed competitive, especially compared to January; the average rate for two-year fixed rate mortgages on 1st July was 0.21% less than at the start of this year, while the five-year fixed rate has fallen by 0.22% over the same period.

Finance expert Eleanor Williams says the ongoing impact of the recent lockdown has affected both product choice and rates. She adds: “The shock of the Coronavirus pandemic and its resultant effects has been the latest event to impact the beleaguered buy-to-let mortgage market, following on from a number of changes over recent years that affected stamp duty, interest relief and capital gains tax. However, the buy-to-let sector has adapted well and there are indications that landlords may have cause for positivity.”

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Williams believes that the increase in product choice and the fact that average rates remain competitive could be early indications that the sector is starting to recover. She adds: “Due to continuing economic uncertainty and few low-deposit residential mortgage deals available, there may be increased demand for private rental properties, which those landlords in a position to capitalise on may wish to consider.”

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