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Mortgage chiefs downgrade buy to let forecast for next 18 months

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’s buy to let forecast for 2017 and 2018 has been revised down from previous expectations at the end of last year, reflecting tax and prudential burdens in the housing and mortgage markets.

The CML now expects buy to let lending of £35 billion in 2017 and £33 billion in 2018, a decrease from £38 billion in each year, forecast in December last year.

Commenting on market conditions, CML director general Paul Smee said buy to let had a weak start to 2017, and the sector’s contribution to overall net mortgage lending had fallen considerably over the last year.

“While falling mortgage interest rates have helped support borrowing, tax and prudential measures are exerting pressure on the buy to let market” he says. 

“Following the distortion of the stamp duty change on second properties last year, we expected a slight recovery in lending levels. However, this has not materialised, and we therefore have lowered our forecast for buy to let lending this year and next” he adds.

And in a plea to the government, he concluded: “This re-emphasises the case for avoiding further changes to the tax and regulatory framework until the effect of these already in train have been properly assessed.”

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