Recent figures from the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) suggest that the outlook for out buy to let insurance customers might not be as rosy as we thought.

After a rush of surveys claiming that rents were rocketing and that demand was strong, the latest report shows the buy to let market stalling during the first quarter of 2011, the end to three consecutive quarters of growth. Here are the reports headline findings:

  • £2.9 billion adavanced to landlords this quarter, 3.5% down on the the previous quarter
  • A rise in buy to let repossessions from 1,400 to 1,700
  • An increase in the number of buy to let mortgages in arrears

So, what to make of this? All the figures we have seen in the last six months have emphasised the strength of the buy to let sector – demand and rent are still perfoming well.

The problem appears to be the scarcity of competitive funding. Buy to let investors tend to have a lower equity stake in their property than owner occupiers making re-funding more challenging as banks tighten their lending criteria.

Our advice for buy to let landlords is to seek the most competitive landlord insurance they can find, and follow our tips to ensure that they rent out their properties quickly and at the maximum possible rent.