We may be all-too-familiar with the challenges facing letting agents and landlords in the private rental sector but there is at least one piece of good news from the buy to let mortgage industry.
The independent financial services monitor Moneyfacts says that soon-to-be-published data suggests that the number of buy to let mortgage products available - currently 2,396 - is the highest on record since October 2007.
Since June 2018, the total number of available BTL products has increased by 21 per cent and in the past month alone it has risen by 143 products, from 2,253 to 2,396.
Meanwhile, average buy to let mortgage rates have also risen over the past 12 months, with the average two-year BTL fixed rate mortgage increasing from 2.88 per cent in June 2018 to 3.05 per cent this month.
And the average five-year BTL fixed rate has risen to stand at 3.54 per cent - a year ago it was 3.43 per cent.
However, both rates still stand significantly lower than in October 2007.
“The BTL market has experienced a number of regulatory changes during recent years, however, it seems that product competition within this specialised mortgage area is continuing to grow” explains Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts.
“A 21 per cent increase in availability to 2,396 products over the past 12 months indicates that providers are keen to offer potential BTL investors plenty of choice within the sector” he adds.
And he explains: “The increase in the BTL average rates contrasts with the downward trajectory of their residential mortgage counterparts, where product competition seems to have instead resulted in rates falling. This disparity in trends is likely to be attributed to the different approach lenders take to risk between these two sectors, and that economic uncertainty may be having a more adverse influence on the BTL mortgage market than it is having on the residential mortgage market.”