Buy-to-let lending has increased by 32 per cent compared with 2011, according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), rman.co.uk reports.
An increased number of properties have entered the buy-to-let market, letting agents may have noticed, as lending in quarter one 2012 was reportedly a third higher than in the same period in 2011. In total, an estimated 32,300 loans were granted, equating to £3.7 billion.
The rise is indicative of the ongoing demand for rental properties in the UK. Research shows that renewed interest in the sector lead to landlords increasing their portfolios by 1.8 properties during Q1 2012 and prompted lenders to expand their range of loans.
There are 1.4 million buy-to-let mortgages in the UK, The Press Association writes. These amount to £159.4 billion and represent 12.8 per cent of the overall mortgage market.
While the increase appears encouraging, buy-to-let home loans are still languishing at just a third of the number approved back in 2007.
Commenting on the figures, CML director general, Paul Smee, said: "Even though buy-to-let is running at only around a third of its peak levels, the sector is continuing its gradual expansion. It has become an important part of the overall landscape of housing provision in the UK."