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Bank of England eyes lettings sector for possible interventionMinutes from the Bank of England's influential Financial Policy Committee promises that the Bank will monitor developments closely in the buy to let sector as a result of an increase in the number of interest-only mortgages being agreed.

Earlier this year our sister publication Estate Agent Today reported that the FPC announced it would assume powers to set limits on debt-to-income ratios and loan-to-value ratios for mortgages as well as a so-called leverage ratio framework' for banks.

Until now the FPC could recommend these - but not enforce them.

Now the Bank's minutes suggest that it is concerned that while overall mortgage lending is slightly down on the trend seen over the past two years, lending in the form of buy to let mortgages is rising.

Last week the Council of Mortgage Lenders announced that loans in January to first time buyers were down 27 per cent on December and 14 per cent on a year earlier, while mortgages for existing owners moving home were also down a whopping 24 per cent lower than December and 17 per cent year-on-year. But the 18,200 buy-to-let loans in January represented a six per cent rise on the previous month and was 12 per cent up on the same month in 2014.

Shortly before MPs met for the last time in the current parliament, the government announced that it would consult early in the new parliament on the FPC's recommendations for it to have new powers over the buy to let market with a view to building an in-depth evidence base on how the operation of the UK buy-to-let housing market may carry risks to financial stability.


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