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BTL now just 6% of lending

Buy-to-let mortgages have halved as a percentage of the total mortgage market over the past year.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show new BTL lending fell for the sixth consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year, accounting for 6 per cent of gross mortgage lending in the first quarter, down from 12 per cent a year earlier.

The CML says there were 22,400 new BTL mortgages in the first quarter of 2009, down from 38,000 in the final quarter of 2008 and 72,400 one year ago.

By value, BTL gross advances totalled £2.1bn in the first quarter, down from £4bn in Q4 and £9.5bn in Q1 last year.

The CML also found that 3.09 per cent of buy-to-let loans were in arrears of three months or more at the end of the first quarter, up from 2.31 per cent at the end of 2008. A total of 1,700 buy-to-let repossessions took place in Q1, the equivalent of 0.15 per cent of all buy-to-let mortgages, up from 900 in the first quarter of last year.

CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Many buy-to-let lenders relied on wholesale markets rather than retail savings to fund their lending. This, along with general housing market weakness, has influenced the decline in buy-to-let lending.”


Lehman queries Barclays deal

Lehman Brothers is seeking court permission to look into whether it was adequately compensated by Barclays for its brokerage unit, according to Reuters.

Turning points

The introduction (from the next tax year) of a 50 per cent top rate of income tax (and a rate of 42.5 per cent on dividends for these taxpayers), the removal (subject to tapering) of higher-rate relief on pension contributions for those with income of £150,000 or more and an effective rate of tax of 60 per cent (as a result of the withdrawal of the personal allowance from next year) for those with an income over £100,000 will all combine to make tax planning more in demand. And not just for the relative few who will be caught by (at least the first two of) these changes.

The death of retirement – a boost for protection?

According to our recent report on the death of retirement, changes in workplace pension provision mean that coming generations of retirees could have a radically different experience of retirement from their parents. The average contribution rate into an old-style final salary pension was around 20% of total wages, the statutory minimum for a new automatic […]


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