“Government policy aimed at re-calibrating the balance between the buy-to-let sector and the ability of first-time buyers to access the property market has – as intended – put pressure on the buy-to-let sector. This has in turn led to a falling off of investment in the sector, which directly correlates with private rental prices in the UK.
“This is confirmed by reports last week by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) of a drop in landlords advertising rental properties to let. This is unsurprising, given landlords are weighing up their options in light of their loss of tax relief, which has put pressure on their finances.
“The true impact of these policy changes are still rippling through the system. However, the end result seems clear: decreased investment into the buy-to-let sector by landlords reduces supply, which in turn will increase the upwards pressure on rental prices. Unfortunately, it will be those who are currently renting, or seeking suitable properties to rent, who will bear the brunt of the increases.
“More needs to be done to protect and foster the rental sector, especially as homeownership has become unattainable for many. The Green paper published on Tuesday by the MHCLG underlines the urgent need for more properties to be made available in the public rented sector: we welcome this – any increase in the number of properties available for sale or rent will help ease the pressure on the private rented sector and the stock or properties available for purchase. The Government made clear its intentions in last year’s White Paper (“Fixing our broken housing market”): it is vital that the momentum is maintained so that real results can be delivered.
“Mortgage lenders will continue to underpin the private rented sector by supporting buy-to-let borrowers as best they can, but we need the Government to recognise that putting further financial pressures on landlords will inevitably impact those who are renting.”
Notes to Editors
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) is the trade association that represents mortgage lenders who lend to UK consumers and businesses via the broker channel. Its membership of 43 banks, building societies and specialist lenders include 18 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and account for about 90% of mortgage lending (91.6% of balances and 92.8% of gross lending).