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Nationwide in plea for tax breaks in buy-to-let sector

Nationwide group distribution director Matthew Wyles has called on the Government to introduce tax breaks to encourage more investors to the buy-to-let market.

Speaking at the Great Housing Debate last week, Wyles said the buy-to-let sector has become hugely important to the property market.

He said: “The buy-to-let market is now a fundamental and important segment of our housing solutions and it is set to grow. It is an opportunity for the young to rent in a flexible, low-risk way.”

“We would rather lend at 75 per cent loan to value on a buy-to-let to a hardened, experienced investor than to a 22-year-old plumber who wants a 95 per cent loan.”

Wyles said he does not want to see the sector blighted by regulation and called on the Government to offer potential BTL investors incentives to attract more landlords.

He said: “I do not understand why new lenders are not coming to market more readily. We need to make sure our friends at the regulator cut us some slack around capital weightings so we do not end up with another social need obstructed by regulatory blindness.”

“It is something that should qualify for consideration by the Government for tax beaks. Some fiscal stimulus for the buy-to-let market, as long as it is not too distorting, would be welcome.”

Buy To Let Funding Services principal Geoff Laird says: “Were it not for the private landlords entering the buy-to-let sector in the last 11 or 12 years, there would be far less decent property for people to live in. Incentives for landlords would be much welcomed.”


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There are 15 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Quite clearly Matthew Wyles is morally bankrupt whereby he would rather give money to a business man trying to exploit young homemakers than give money to young makers trying to buy their own home. He is a director of a mutual company whose ethics are meant to be about helping people to buy their own home not assist business people line their pockets. No doubt, although he works for a mutual company he will have a seven figure income from the so-called mutual company. Hope he rots in hell!

  2. Just about sums up what is wrong with this countrry. Its the BTL parasites that force up prices, and prevent FTB`s getting on the ladder in the first place. They need to be taxed more, not less.

  3. Mr Wyles’ comments are full of vested interest.

    “We would rather lend at 75 per cent loan to value on a buy-to-let to a hardened, experienced investor than to a 22-year-old plumber who wants a 95 per cent loan.”

    That’s the whole problem with lending. It’s like banks would prefer to lend at credit card rates of interest, where customers have to buy on their credit cards in order to afford the repayments and keep the credit revolving, than lend to small business at half the rate of interest.

    This is one of the few times where the Government is right to intervene.

  4. RE: Buy To Let Funding Services principal Geoff Laird says: “Were it not for the private landlords entering the buy-to-let sector in the last 11 or 12 years, there would be far less decent property for people to live in. Incentives for landlords would be much welcomed.”

    What rubbish, it has been buy to let and other property speculating that caused the great housing bubble and priced out all the first time buyers.

    It is buy to let gearing that has left the banks in a fragile state with buy to let landlords the group most likely to get repossessed. As interest rates rise the banks will suffer huge loses as these multi property landlords go under.

    We need a free market, no more stimulus, no buy to let tax breaks. If anything CGT should be risen to 40% for landlords to rebalance the housing market for first time buyers. First time buyers should not have to compete unfairly with landlords to buy first time buyer properties.

    If this tax break happens as a first time buyer I will emigrate to some where fairer.

  5. Freddie Mercury 23rd April 2011 at 10:47 am

    What a sh1t he is

  6. So yet more easy money should be funnelled into a market which is still overpriced from the last tranche of easy money. A sound grasp of economics or a complete nincompoop.

  7. “We would rather lend at 75 per cent loan to value on a buy-to-let to a hardened, experienced investor than to a 22-year-old plumber who wants a 95 per cent loan.”

    Yeah, but you don’t mind taking hard working people like the plumber’s money in the form of savings do you? You use that money to keep your BTL pals gravy train going, while keeping people like the plumber priced out. I wonder how many properties Mr Wyles owns!!!!


  9. Right so the government should help price out first time buyers even more ??

  10. Why should there be tax breaks?

    As has been pointed out BTL was one of the contributing factors in the housing market bubble.

    And lets face it a large percentage of those who entered the BTL arena weren’t experienced investors but those looking to make a quick buck.

  11. BTL did not cause the property price bubble, most ‘real’ land lords were only too aware of the perils of buying at the top of an over inflated market and held back. It was when the bubble burst that many became accidental landlords and got their fingers burnt. In fact repossession in the BTL sector have been no worse than mainstream.

    Those landlords on Nationwide’s TMW books do not have the luxury of the super low rate tracker deals that many ordinary householders are enjoying. It is these households who will be the ‘repo’ victims when rates go up. So no wonder the Nationwide is looking to generate more BTL demand, they know where their margins and regular income will be coming from when rates do go up.

    Lets look at the real cause of the problem, until the lenders rebuild their balance sheets they won’t lend. Their past lending on property will not be ‘bad’ if property prices rise again, which in turn will free them up to lend more. Are the only people stopping property prices falling through the floor are BTL investors? IF so, then maybe, far from holding them out to be the cause of all evil in the world, the more enlightened might just think the guy from Nationwide has a point. BTL at least gives people a decent roof over their head until such point they qualify for a loan themselves.

    If property plummetted to half current prices, does anyone honestly think lenders would loosen their lending criteria? They would be sitting on even bigger losses and lend far, far less with an even tighter lending criteria. Mind you, it would enable BTL investors to buy up even more cheap property. Be careful for what you wish for….

  12. How did this man get the job he is in ? Unbelievable request, unless of course it is a smokescreen to stop the Treasury taxing BTL more heavily. Now there is an idea. The Tories had a public view that people should be able to own their own home. We all know that some of this was rhetoric for councils to sell off council housing, bank the capital and the government to reduce council budgets. Net result votes were bought and no apparent expenditure cost. BUT nonetheless it did help people own their own home.

    The home ownership issue is trully a social issue rather than purely economic, at both ends of the scale. Those without the capital but the human capital at one end, and those with the capital, albeit illiquid, with a liquid LTC need.

    A real fix.Now Nationwide would be better off doing some thought leadership on this ! Or maybe not given what has been evidenced so far.

  13. 1. Most lenders would rather lend at 75% than 95%, whoever they were lending too! The risk is simply lower! If we were talking about the same percentages, then most lenders would rather lend to the home owner than a landlord as the home owner has more to loose.
    2. If a landlord is borrowing round about 75%, it is likely the rental income will roughly equate to the interest and expenses, hence no income tax anyway! CGT is just something the landlord needs to accept and plan for. No tax breaks are needed.
    3. The ONLY change I think might be fair would be to allow the offset of LOSSES againt otehr income for tax purposes as is/was the case with holiday lets, unlike buy to lets. That way an unwilling landlord such as a former first time buyer who can’t sell their 1 bed flat when they need a 3 bed house could proceed.

    So my conclusion, perhaps some tax adjustments which would benefit former first time buyers who are stuck in teh wrong property would be good, but nothing more.

  14. To say that BTL investors caused the housing bubble is far too simplistic. It was the overall lending practices of banks, etc, that caused much of that. Remember the 125% mortgages? They were not the loans taken out by BTL investors but by first time buyers, movers and those who stripped out their own equity.

    BTL promotes development which allows people to live somewhere. Why not have tax breaks – but watch out for the lending practices. And there are lots of unscrupulous mortgage brokers out there prepared to help clients, previously, bend the truth on applications. Perhaps that is why there is some resistance to mortgage advisers being authorised!?

    Nothing is ever that simplistic in life, and, to the contributor who would emigrate to somewhere fairer, where would that be? Most of central Europe have a philosophy based around renting, not buying. And these properties are, wait for it, provided by BTL investors!

  15. Sensible House Prices 22nd September 2011 at 10:20 pm

    How about tax breaks for home ownership? Much more sensible.

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