FHL: Buy-to-let a scapegoat
Buy-to-let has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, as last Thursday Chancellor George Osborne said the Financial Policy Committee will be granted additional powers to control the market.
In its defence Brett said buy-to-let is a competitive and responsive market instrumental in opening up private rented accommodation.
Brett added: “When seeking a scapegoat for the imbalance in the housing market, it is easy to alight on BTL, because of its success, as a suitable cause.
“However, the BTL market, far from being the bogeyman, plays a dynamic role in the provision of rented accommodation in a market where the culture of renting rather than owning is beginning to take shape as house prices and mortgage affordability have taken their toll on the ownership aspirations of many people.
“The fact is that the high price of house purchase is predominantly the result of a property shortage. Official figures show very clearly that house building reached a record low of 135,000 new homes in 2012/13, down from 300,000 plus per annum during the 1970’s.
“Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has already stated his concern that his native Canada builds twice as many new homes, even though the country has half the population of the UK.
“We have a dynamic market providing a valued service to the public and we, as an industry, need to take every opportunity to wave the flag for its undoubted virtues at every opportunity.”