Buy-to-let 'not as doomed' as thought

Northern Ireland solicitors who worried that landlords would be put off purchasing property due to some analysts predicting a gloomy future for the buy-to-let market may have their fears allayed after all.

According to comments from the Building Societies Association (BSA), although making a profit on buy-to-let will be harder in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2008, there are still profits to be made for shrewd landlords.

Solicitors may have been expecting only the wealthiest of their Belfast clientele to be approaching them for conveyancing services after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggested that the buy-to-let market was now "so inaccessible to the average investor" that only the rich could afford to be landlords.

However, Neil Johnson, PR policy manager at the BSA, said of 2008: "It will be a challenging time for lenders, in the same way that the traditional market is. There is business to be done though and the lenders that find themselves good quality borrowers will continue to prosper. It is all about the lenders making sure they lend to people that have done their sums.

Mr Johnson added: "For professional buy to letters, who know what they are doing, there is still money to be made. There are still people that want to rent and there are still people unable to buy, so while that remains the same there will always be opportunities out there for buy to let investors."

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