The credit crunch has secured another victim in the form of buy-to-let
champion, Inside Track.
The company has been placed under administration today, despite significant measures to battle the market downturn, including a number of redundancies and major cutbacks.
Inside Track ran hugely popular property seminars, which attracted around 32,000 people at the height of its success in the year to 31 March 2006. Attendance figures had fallen to 25,265 in the following 12 months, and the last seminar in Warrington last month attracted less than a dozen people.
Managing director Tony McKay, said: “The action with respect to Inside Track seminars is regrettable but necessary. The company has seen a fall in the number of people who want to invest in the property market for the first time and that is understandable in the current climate.”
The company that promised to 'teach tried and tested techniques that deliver proven returns on property investment' has blamed the credit crunch for dampening the appetite for buy-to-let.
Yesterday Moneywise.co.uk reported that lenders pulling buy-to-let deals and increasing rates and arrangements fees is forcing amateur landlords out of the market. The removal of 100% home loans has also pushed out many would-be landlords and contributed to a loss in consumer confidence.
On it's website, Inside Track promises 'no money down, rental guarantee and 100% finance' - which is no longer possible in the current climate.
However, uncertainty in buy-to-let was being felt in the market before lenders started tightening their belts. Customers with large portfolios were beginning to owe banks more than they could afford, as rental yields proved less than expected and property values, particularly new-builds, started to fall as early as last autumn.
Many investors poured money into overseas property markets in Spain and the US, where values have also taken a hit.
The catch-all term applied to investors who buy properties with the sole intention of letting them to tenants rather than living in them themselves, with the proceeds from the let usually used for the repayment of the mortgage. Buy-to-let investors have to take out specialised mortgages that carry higher interest rates and require a much bigger deposit than a standard mortgage. Other expenditure can include legal fees, income tax (on the rental profits you make), capital gains tax (if you sell the property) and “void” periods when the property is unlet.