Buy to let borrowing from landlords looking to add homes to their rental portfolios is dropping away, according to the latest figures.

UK Finance, the trade body for buy to let banks, building societies and other lenders, has revealed borrowing to buy homes to rent fell by 7.7% over the 12 months to the end of February 2019.

Lenders agreed 4,800 new mortgages in the period.

Remortgages bucked the trend by increasing 2.1% with 14,400 new loans granted over the same term.

“Buy-to-let house purchases continue to contract due to tax and regulatory changes, buy-to-let remortgaging has increased as borrowers move from fixed-rate mortgages and lock into new attractive rates,” said a UK Finance spokesman.

Meanwhile, lenders are keen to update their rates and products to capture new borrowers.

The Mortgage Lender has launched a new buy to let remortgage deal at up to 80% loan-to-value.

Interest rates start at 3.44% for a two-year fix and 3.7% for a five year fix both at 70% loan-to-value.

Loans are available for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), blocks of flats and individual borrowers. A completion fee of 1.5% to 2% of the loan is charged.

Santander wants to attract older borrowers with a new range of buy to let mortgages that allow investors to keep their loan until they are 85 years old.

At the same time, the maximum mortgage term increases from 25 to 40 years.

Data from consumer group Which? suggests Santander is playing catch-up with other lenders, as 65% of the 2,057 buy to let deals available have a maximum age of 85 or more for borrowers.

Which? says 9% go up to 95 years old and 20% have no maximum age listed.

Around half the products have a term of up to 40 years.