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Buy-to-let lending plunges to 2003 levels

Buy-to-let lending fell by 56 per cent year on year in the fourth quarter of 2008 to the lowest figures since 2003.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says new lending for buy to let continued to decline, with 37,000 new loans totalling £3.9bn in the fourth quarter, 12 per cent down on the third quarter and 56 per cent down on the fourth quarter of 2007. It says this is almost certainly the lowest quarterly lending figure since 2003.

It also found that at the end of 2008, 2.32 per cent of buy-to-let mortgages – a total of 28,800 – were over three months in arrears without a receiver of rent in place compared with 27,500 at the end of 2007. A further 0.23 per cent, or 2,700, were over three months in arrears with a rec- eiver of rent in place.

Smartlandlord.co.uk managing director Keshav Thukaram says: “It is no surprise that the number of people taking out buy-to-let loans has shrunk – there are no lenders left in the market to provide them.

“Providers of buy-to-let loans are either nationalised and throwing landlords off their books, or even sitting on their loan books waiting for the securitisation markets to open again. Landlords, like the next generation of aspiring homeowners, cannot get mortgages.”

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