Moneysupermarket: Landlords hit as buy-to-let mortgages drop 23% in a week

Date:Friday 3rd October 2008

The buy-to-let mortgages product range has shrunk by 23 per cent in just seven days, price comparison website has found.

According to figures, seven days ago there were 703 available, but now there are only 540.

NatWest, Bristol & West and the recently nationalised Bradford & Bingley are among the lenders who have withdrawn buy-to-let mortgages in the past week.

Louise Cuming, head of mortgages at the website, said that the house price figures released yesterday by Nationwide had confirmed the common knowledge that prices are falling.

"Landlords are likely to be hit particularly hard by this," she said.

She added that a reduction in buy-to-let mortgages would lead to less competition and therefore higher rates and even more difficulty in obtaining a mortgage.

Earlier this week, the National Landlords Association rejected claims that the buy-to-let market is dead.

It said only 25 to 30 per cent of landlords use buy-to-let mortgages for their property purchases and that many private landlords are not affected by the circumstances of Bradford & Bingley.

In addition, increased immigration fuels demand for rental, as well as more households due to lifestyle factors such as divorce and later marriage.