One way of gauging private landlord activity is by analysing the Council of Mortgage Lenders' (CML) quarterly updates on buy-to-let mortgage lending.

The body's latest figures suggest that buy-to-let in the first quarter of 2009 - as a percentage of overall lending - was down 12 per cent on last year.

It accounted for six per cent of all lending during the three-month period.

Official statistics from the CML show there were 22,400 new buy-to-let mortgages advanced in the first quarter of 2009, while the outstanding buy-to-let home loans at this stage of the year was 1,155,200.

CML director general Michael Coogan said: "In the wake of the Rugg Review and the government's recent commitments to strengthen the private rented sector, buy-to-let will continue to fulfil an important role."

Meanwhile editor of Property Hawk website Chris Horne recently claimed that demand for buy-to-let financial products still remains strong.

Written by Mark Garner

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