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B&W scales down London focus

Bristol & West is cutting back its focus on buy-to-let lending in London, where it says investment yields are falling, to inc-rease its presence in other areas around the UK.

The firm says that from an investors&#39 point of view, it is becoming more difficult to justify buy-to-let borrowing in London, where returns have dropped to about 4.5-5 per cent compared with 7 per cent in the South-west and 12 per cent in Manchester.

B&W says the London market is in danger of overheating, which is borne out by new research from analyst Datamonitor which warns of a slowdown in employment in London.

Datamonitor says other regions are benefiting from an influx of firms looking to move from the South-east, fuelling demand from employees for rented property.

B&W is changing the criteria of its buy-to-let offering to meet the needs of borrowers around the UK rather than prioritising the London market.

It has doubled the number of properties which borrowers can have in their portfolio to 10 and doubled the maximum value of the total investment to £1m.

Head of marketing Dominic Toller says: “We are not adjusting our buy-to-let offering to encourage people to buy in London, where it is becoming must harder to meet lending criteria.

“There has been a slight shift in demand to areas with a better return.”

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