Buy to let 'the outstanding investment since 1996'Buy to let has been the outstanding investment of the past 18 years, providing average returns outstripping all other major asset classes, a peer-to-peer lending group claims.

Every £1,000 invested in an average buy to let property purchased with a 75 per cent loan-to-value mortgage in the final quarter of 1996 - when buy to let was first actively promoted - would have been worth £14,897 by the final quarter of 2014, a compound annual return of 16.2 per cent.

The same investment in UK commercial property would have grown to £4,494; in UK government bonds to £3,329; in UK equities to £3,119; and in cash to £1,959.

A buy to let purchaser buying entirely with cash would have seen each £1,000 invested grow to £5,071 by the end of 2014 - a compound annual return of 9.4 per cent.

2014 was a good year for buy to let investors with property prices rising by an average 8.3 per cent claims the firm behind the survey, Landbay.