Buy-to-let properties have bucked the housing market trend in recent years, seeing steady growth in lending.
Partly this is because new finance to owner-occupiers has dropped off so much since the credit crunch: the lack of mortgage availability, particularly for first-time buyers, has fuelled a booming rental market. Demand is pushing up the cost to tenants: average rents are up 4.3% year-on-year.
All this makes buy-to-let an exciting prospect for investors.
- New buy-to-let lending, £m (source: CML)
But buy-to-let mortgages are looking increasingly risky, according to detailed new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Read more
Here are some interactive graphics we have spotted elsewhere this week that are worth a look:
Small arms and ammunition – imports and exports
Google labs have published a very interesting visualisation of the global small arms trade, based on data provided by the UN’s COMTRADE database and analysed by the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Explore imports and exports of ammunition, civilian and military weapons between 1992 and 2010 from 250 territories and find out who is selling what to whom. Beautifully designed and easy to navigate, but the usual caveats of unreliable data from China, North Korea, Iran and others still apply. Read more