I was very interested to read a report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders advising that the Government and the Bank of England must not put too much of the blame for a lack of housing supply on the Buy-to-Let sector.  Paul Smee, the CML’s Director General, asked whether there was a risk that the Buy-to-Let sector was taking “too much of the wrap” for a wider policy failure to boost Britain’s housing supply.  I do agree with his view that slightly curtailing the Buy-to-Let sector may, in the short term, assist first time buyers but the negative impact of increased rent would mean that it would take longer for people to save up deposits and would probably outweigh this benefit.  Paul adds “the relative size and popularity of the Buy-to-Let market will ebb and flow under different market conditions, just as the flow of lending to owner-occupiers will.”

I do believe that the Government should make sure that there is further assistance available for first time buyers and I would advocate my guaranteed deposit scheme proposal open to new build and second-hand properties but limited to a maximum purchase price of, say, £150,000.   I will continue to keep you advised of reports.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property

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