Buy-to-let regulation not the answer

Nia Williams

November 13, 2009

Commenting, he said: “There has been much speculation about how buy-to-let would perform in weak economic conditions and the sector has proved that it is able to adapt and cope well. Like owner-occupiers, landlords have benefited from low interest rates but they are also experiencing strong levels of tenant demand for their product, which is reflected in the arrears performance. Buy-to-let has now outperformed the wider mortgage market for 31 of the past 35 quarters.

“The CML arrears figures cast further doubt on the perception that buy-to-let is a ‘risky’ product. These figures do not back up this view. On the whole, buy-to-let investors are financially savvy individuals who invest for long-term – they are not speculators looking to make quick profits.”

“It is clear that buy-to-let is fundamentally a commercial transaction and it is essential that the FSA does not impose consumer focused regulation. It could have far reaching implications for the cost and availability of privately rented housing. There are consumers in buy-to-let transactions and they are called tenants. Regulating a commercial product as if it were a consumer product can only result in restrictions on landlords, which may impact on their ability to respond to tenant demand. This will see the cost of renting increase and could force some of the most vulnerable households out of the sector.”

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