John Goodall, CEO at Landbay, says “Buy-to-let started the year really strongly and this is reflected in the UK Finance figures. January and February saw really strong demand for new purchases.; UK Finance shows a 7% year-on-year increase, but what we saw was significantly in excess of that. While the Coronavirus lockdown from mid-March has hampered this, there is still a notable demand from landlords and investors. What these figures don’t show is the effect of payment holidays. While there is demand, borrowers who are trying to take out new mortgages whilst also taking payment holidays on existing parts of their portfolio may find it harder to buy than they did before.
“While there is no chance that we will jump straight back to the numbers we saw at the start of the year, as soon as confidence returns the market should also return to normal, although I don’t expect a ‘V’ shaped recovery, but a longer, more gradual increase. Providing of course that we don’t get a second peak in the virus, as at that point all bets are off. Fundamentally it’s about demand and supply. This morning’s figures showed a drop in first-time buyers even before Covid-19 hit and following the pandemic it is highly likely that people will be renting for much longer, so the need for private buy-to-let will be greater than ever.”