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Brokers predict decline of buy-to-let

Mortgage advisers are concerned about about the longer-term prospects for buy-to-let, with half now predicting a decline in business.

Although advisers saw a modest increase in buy-to-let business volumes in the first quarter of this year, they remain cautious about the future.

The latest Financial Advisor Confidence Tracking report from Paragon Mortgages revealed that 24% of broker business in Q1 consisted of buy-to-let, up from 23% in the previous quarter.

Volumes of first-time and next-time buyers also increased.

Remortgages declined from 35% of intermediary business in the previous quarter, to 32% currently.

While just 13% of brokers expect a decline in all types of mortgage business they were less optimistic about buy-to-let.

Exactly 50% expect a decline in demand for buy-to-let, with 49% anticipating it will increase or stay the same.

Remortgages continue to make up the largest proportion of buy-to-let business, accounting for 38% of business in Q1, up from 36%.

Nearly a third of new buy-to-let finance was secured for portfolio expansion.

John Heron, director of mortgages at Paragon, said the report showed that advisers are "circumspect” about future buy-to-let volumes, although there has been a sharp reduction in the proportion of landlords who are expected to sell property.

“Whether the market remains as competitive once all the fiscal and regulatory changes are implemented remains to be seen.”

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