A report by the think-tank Onward claims that at the end of 2017 buy to let lending was higher than in the 2007 peak. The RLA put forward figures from UK Finance (previously the Council for Mortgage Lenders) which indicate the number of buy to let loans has fallen by one-third in this time period. They also state that there are 46000 fewer properties available for renting.
Onward’s report also asserts that landlords are taxed more advantageously than home owners. The RLA claim that this is not the case according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
On the back of their claim Onward call for more tax increases to reduce investment in new homes for private rent. The RLA put forward the proposition that more homes to rent are needed not fewer – fewer homes for rent makes finding a home in the PRS more difficult and more expensive. It asserts that what is needed is tax reform which encourages the development of new homes to rent and longer tenancies. This way the private rented sector can better provide a pathway for tenants to go from renting to home ownership.
Landlord Today reports that Onward also claim that buy to let landlords are impeding home ownership for younger people both by bidding up prices and by reducing the number of properties available for purchase. Onward call for the government to level the playing field for instance by limiting the number of properties buy to let investors can own as well as ending or limiting tax breaks. Landlord Today reports that Neil O’Brien who compiled the report would like foreign investment to be limited as well as other measures. See Landlord’s Today article on Onward’s report here.