Buy-to-Let Mortgage Arrears Should Continue to Fall This Year

Before the EU Referendum took place on 23rd June, the news was filled with warnings about what would happen to house prices and mortgage rates if the UK voted for Brexit. However, now it would appear those warnings were unnecessary, as we have seen in the last few weeks. Additionally, it looks as though arrears on buy-to-let mortgages will continue to drop throughout the rest of 2016. One lender in this area, Keystone Property Finance, has used data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) to show that arrears have been dropping steadily in past quarters. They expect this to have continued in the second quarter of 2016, and to keep heading in this same positive direction for the second half of the year as well. 9,300 cases of arrears indicated in first quarter of 2016 This was the amount of cases estimated to have been in arrears in the buy-to-let mortgage market in the first quarter this year. Keystone has estimated this could drop by around 800 cases in the second quarter, taking the figure down to 8,500 in the process. The figures relate to arrears of more than three months, and do not take into account any that might be below this threshold. Keystone also expects the figure for the final quarter of 2016 to drop further, to around 6,600. This would mean a further 1,900 buy-to-let mortgages would be taken out of arrears of three months or more by the end of the year. Brexit appears to have made little difference It is still very early days, of course, but at present Brexit doesnt seem to have made much difference at all to the overall mortgage market. Some are holding off buying new properties to see what happens next, but this appears to be affecting the general housing market more than landlords looking for rental properties. It is certainly promising to realise that landlord mortgage arrears look to be steadily reducing as time goes on. We can only be certain of this when firm figures come in, of course. Yet when we compare these estimates to those that were given in 2015, the changes are clear to see. The first quarter of 2015 saw around 11,300 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears a figure that was about 2,000 cases higher than we saw for the same period in 2016. It would appear to indicate many of those who were previously in arrears have been able to find a way out of their predicament. It remains to be seen whether or not the pattern will continue throughout the remainder of the year as has been suggested. However, there is also the chance that Brexit may have an effect as time goes on. There is little to suggest this at the moment, but we are in uncertain times. It is however good to know the buy-to-let market seems to be holding up, regardless of arrears at the moment. One wonders if this will continue for the long-term as well.

Published on 27 July 2016

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