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Government set to impose buy-to-let controls?

Tuesday, 10th February, 2015

The government says that if re-elected it will set in train new controls over the buy-to-let market if there is any evidence that it "may carry risks to financial stability." At the end of a lengthy statement introducing new Bank of England Financial Policy Committee powers over mortgage lending by banks to owner occupiers, it dropped the bombshell that it would be looking at the private rental sector. Its statement says: "The government intends to consult separately early in the new Parliament on the FPC's recommendations for it to have new powers over the buy-to-let market with a view to building an in-depth evidence base on how the operation of the UK buy-to-let housing market may carry risks to financial stability." Buy-to-let was controversially excluded from the government's Mortgage Market Review, spearheaded by the Bank of England last Spring. More recently BTL has been "blamed" for a series of social and economic issues, including denying first time buyers the opportunity to buy homes which have instead been snapped up by landlords, and for contributing to house price inflation.


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