Buy-to-let mortgage availability is at its highest since last July as the market continues to recover from a mass product drop.
There are now 2,400 options in the sector, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk, after numbers reduced rapidly in the autumn following the Chancellor's mini-Budget, when only 988 BTL mortgages were available.
About 40 lenders withdrew all their fixed-rate buy-to-let products, reflecting the rises in wholesale borrowing costs.
Daniel Lee, principal at Total Landlord Mortgages, tells LandlordZONE that while there are more products around, few landlords out there are currently buying properties '� probably because of tax changes and legislation, or they are waiting for next week's Budget for some good news.
'Some investors might now be looking at bonds or gilts where '� although the returns are lower '� they don't have the headaches that landlords now have,'� he says.
However, Lee believes we are going through a period of adjustment and predicts that the market will come back, although probably not to the levels seen previously.
The current situation isn't helped by the fact the average two- and five-year fixed rates still sit above 5% after a rise to 6% towards the end of 2022; the average two-year fixed deal stands at 5.81% while the five-year fixed deal sits at 5.72% compared to about 3% a year ago.
Many landlords faced with higher monthly repayments are either waiting for fixed mortgage rates to come down further or opting for a tracker mortgage to give them more flexibility to eventually switch their deal, according to Moneyfacts, while others are looking to sell up this year.
Meanwhile, the average house price rose 1.1% to �285,476 last month as recent reductions in mortgage rates helped to stabilise the market, according to Halifax. It followed a monthly gain in house prices of 0.2% in January and a fall of 1.3% in December.