New powers over buy-to-let lending.
Earlier this week the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney expressed concerns about the buy-to-let market, he said he was worried that if house prices began to fall, investors might sell in large numbers, which could destabilise the economy.
The Treasury has suggested that the Bank of England could order banks and building societies to limit the sums they lend to landlords, this would bring buy-to-let more in line with the way it now works for the ordinary household mortgage, the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has already implemented such measures in that sector.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, reportedly said: “Ensuring that Britain’s financial services sector is resilient enough to withstand future shocks is a key part of the government’s economic plan.”
Commenting on the consultation by HM Treasury on potential powers of direction for the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee over the buy-to-let mortgage market, Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) director general Paul Smee said:
“We understand the rationale for putting the macroprudential tools at the Bank of England’s disposal, but also recognise that this does not necessarily mean they will be used. In our view, buy-to-let does not constitute a market that currently requires further macroprudential intervention, especially as the effect of several recent tax changes is yet to be fully felt and evaluated. We urge policymakers to be mindful of the risk of unintended consequences that could adversely affect the private rented sector, alongside their focus on ensuring that the buy-to-let market does not pose a threat to financial stability.”