06/01/05 - Buy-to-let: The weak link?
THE buy-to-let investor has been identified by many economists as the weak link in the housing market, writes John Waples of The Sunday Times.
Their concern is that as the market softens, these investors will panic and dump their investment portfolios on the market.
But according to Steven Crawshaw, chief executive of Bradford & Bingley, Britain's biggest buy-to-let lender with a 20% share of the market, this is far from the truth.
Or at least he hopes so.
He said the average investor is in his mid-forties and earns £60,000 a year.
The typical investment is a £200,000 home on which they borrow no more than £170,000. They intend to hold the asset for 16 years and then sell it to supplement their retirement income.
Crawshaw believes these investors are prepared to ride out a softening market. He said: "They are fundamentally a good bet for banks. They have two sources of income and represent the top slice of the home-buying public."
He said their importance in the housing market has been exaggerated. They represent only a fraction of homes that have been bought.
But there are many who remain unconvinced by his optimism. Last week, analysts at JP Morgan issued a bearish note on Britain's three big mortgage banks Alliance & Leicester, Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock. JP Morgan sees little reason to buy the shares of banks that are heavily exposed to housing.
06/01/05 - Rental Properties Nottingham
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