Perhaps not unexpectedly the CML has revised its forecasts for buy to let lending with levels expected to continue to fall over the coming years as a result of changes to the tax regime and other market pressures.
Far be it for me to pass judgment on the government’s apparent vilification of private landlords and the rental sector in general (the ban on tenant letting fees being the latest, in my view naive, measure to crack-down on the sector) but I remain unconvinced that any of the recent changes or extra regulations will really shape the future of Britain’s housing market in the way the government desires. Yes buy-to-let lending is decreasing but anecdotally at least we are seeing a marked increase in cash-rich foreign based investors happy to step in and snap up appropriate properties instead, especially as the value of the £ is so attractive to them at the moment.
In the longer term more sophisticated UK investors will find ways to minimise the impact of recent tax changes and the position will stabilise.
In the meantime if anyone has evidence of local first time buyers being able to get onto the housing ladder as a result of less landlord purchases I remain open to being convinced as to the merits of the government’s plans.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) buy-to-let forecast for 2017 and 2018 has been revised down from previous expectations at the end of last year, as tax and prudential measures continue to exert pressure on the market.
The CML now estimates buy-to-let lending of £35bn in 2017 and £33bn in 2018, a fall from £38bn in each year, forecast in December last year.