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Buy-to-let lending ‘unlikely to recover in the near future’

The UK property market continued to rally last month, with gross mortgage lending surging by 19% compared with February, but it is becoming more ‘complicated’ for buy-to-let landlords to access the finance they need to add to their property portfolios, according to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Various tax changes have had an adverse impact on the buy-to-let market, as reflected by the fall in transactions in the sector, and the signs are that the market is not likely to pick-up any time soon.

“Buy-to-let lending is unlikely to recover in the near future,” said Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agents. “The tax changes brought about in April heaped more strain on Britain’s landlord population.”

“We need see the government incentivising home movers, and not just penalising investors,” he added.

Also reflecting on the latest mortgage lending data, John Goodall, CEO and co-founder of buy-to-let specialist Landbay, commented: “Following the recent changes to buy-to-let tax relief and the introduction of tighter underwriting criteria, it is becoming even more complicated for aspiring homeowners and landlords to access the finance they need.”

Goodall believes that some firm commitments from the government are needed to tackle the housing crisis.

“Positive measures aimed at encouraging the development of high quality rented properties will target the lack of supply across both sales and lettings in the housing market,” he added. 

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    Government needs to stop disincentivising investment in the housing market, and certainly, no just favouring one sector (build-to-rent) and disincentivising others with higher punitive taxes (like s.24 aka #TenantTax), and regulations.

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