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Tidal wave of buy-to-let landlords continues

Although there are already around 900,000 buy-to-let landlords currently in the market, the same number again want to join them by 2010, according to a new report by Mintel.In the region of 900,000 people told researchers that they aim to buy "at least" one rental property within the next three years, whether as an amateur landlord or as a seasoned investor adding to their portfolio.As the average house price has rocketed from around £60,000 to almost £200,000 over a decade, many people have been persuaded, by the fortunes made by their acquaintances from buy-to-let investments, that they could also make a mint.According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla), there has been a significant increase in the number of younger, inexperienced investors.Arla says that roughly 30 per cent of landlords have been in the game for under a year, although the typical investor is still aged 36 to 55.Yet Paul Davies, senior financial analyst at Mintel warned: "House prices have been going up for a decade. People see buy-to-let as a sure fire bet. But many people have forgotten the early 1990s when house prices fell. For some of the younger investors, they have never experienced a falling market." Still, last year buy-to-let investing hit record breaking highs, with 330,300 borrowers taking out a buy-to-let mortgage - almost 50 per cent more than in 2005.

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