Buy-to-let isn’t undermining FTBs

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, chairman of Acadametrics and director of Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, argues the case for buy-to-let and first-time buyers.

“First clearly all indices have their strengths and weaknesses but whatever these are, the strength of an index is how it tracks change over time. In other words is the market rising or falling?

Second, it is very clear we do have house price cycles and that these have varied in amplitude over time.

Third, both John and Brian suggest the market is heavily weighted towards buy-to-let, for example, via tax reliefs and state support and that there is no burning desire to rent.

Fourth, survey evidence does suggest there has been a significant increase in the demand for private renting and this is a product of both choice and constraints.

Fifth, nobody has ever suggested that the private rented sector provides a total solution for our housing ills but it is an important element, with some 17% of households in the sector and it continues to grow.

Sixth, the rise of the private rented sector has also been helpful to investors searching for return to supplement pensions and given turbulence in stock markets.

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