I recently read an article stating that buy-to-let is dead as more investors purchase shops, restaurants and offices as alternatives. However, is this really the case? I asked Edward Riordan, from our Mortgage Desk, for his opinion.
"The buy-to-let market has been dominated by the stamp duty surcharge that came into force in April 2016. Sales boomed in the run-up to the introduction of the higher rate - figures from HMRC showed that in March 2016, 162,000 properties changed hands, a rise of 77% year on year, whilst mortgage approvals trebled compared to the previous year.
More changes face landlords in 2017 in the form of tougher affordability checks for buy-to-let mortgages and the start of the withdrawal of tax relief on mortgage interest. The Council of Mortgage Lenders is expecting activity in this sector to slow in 2017.
Whereas a recent survey of estate agents completed by the Association of Rental Letting Agents suggested that the majority of estate agents believe that rents will increase during 2017, meaning that despite the ongoing changes landlords could still be attracted by the potential rents available.
We reported in October 2016 that buy-to-let mortgage rates had fallen considerably over the course of the year with record breaking buy-to-let rates being introduced to the market.
Owning property is quite embedded within the UK psyche meaning that despite these changes, the prospect of increasing rents and low interest rates will be enough to prevent many landlords from losing their appetite for buy-to-let property investment."
You should be aware that not all buy-to-let mortgages are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that if you choose to take up such a mortgage, you will not have the means of redress offered for regulated mortgage contracts in the event that you should have any complaints.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage.
The number of buy-to-let investors moving to commercial property has tripled in the past three years, experts say. Investors are fleeing traditional residential property and turning instead to shops, restaurants and offices as alternatives.