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Home > Mortgages > Mortgage Products

By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Jul 12, 2012

UK rented sector needs ‘significant attention’, BSA

Buy-to-let landlords could be displacing first-time-buyers by buying and renting traditional first time buyer properties, Building Societies Association chairman Peter Webster has warned.

In an interview with FTAdviser, he said the UK rented sector needs “significant attention” as there are issues in terms of funding and in terms of regulation. Ironically the buy-to-let sector is the most buoyant sub-sector within the mortgage market but the least regulated.

He feels the industry should look again at the nuances within buy-to-let.

Mr Webster said: “There are some extremely good buy-to-let propositions from people who know what they are doing but there is also the amateur landlord syndrome as well.

“What I am nervous about is first time buyer ability to influence their own ability to get on the housing ladder. It doesn’t sit that well when private landlords can make extremely good yields from buying the properties that typically first time buyers would be able to afford and that doesn’t seem to be a great solution to the housing mix, but equally I am not an advocate of lots of additional shackles on buy-to-let either.

“I think that buy-to-let has been a lucrative area and I am not looking to restrict that but I think we need to balance that with some ability to fund for homeownership for young people in the first time buyer sector.”

He believes that, specifically in the case of owner occupation, the industry should allow lenders to have sufficient scope within their own risk management framework to develop their product lines.

Mr Webster said: “We are trying to do that very much within the building society sector and, if there are gaps within that market, allow us to move into those gaps.

“I don’t think this is a place for additional restriction, more shackling. I think this is a time for a bit of creativity and a bit of pragmatism which will enable us to get back into the marketplace.”

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