The Observer newspaper has made an outspoken attack on agents, landlords and others complaining about recent tax and regulation changes to the buy to let sector.
In an editorial titled “Ignore the landlord-martyrs: it’s time for the Bank of England to intervene over buy to let” the newspaper sarcastically refers to “the poor persecuted buy to let landlords of Britain” who now have “a martyr complex - victims, they feel, of a barrage of new taxes coming in from next year.”
The newspaper says that far from unfairly intervening in the buy to let mortgage by restricting mortages - as the BoE is widely predicted to do from next year - the intervention is instead “saving landlords from their own greed.”
The Observer claims that “it is almost beyond dispute that buy to let landlords have fuelled price rises generally and priced out many potential first-time buyers” and that by intervening to prevent boom turning to bust, the Bank is merely trying to “protect the value of landlord’s [sic] assets from falling.”
The paper says that if the Bank really wants to level the playing field between landlords and first-time buyers, it could require buy to let investors to take out repayment mortgages rather than interest-only ones.
It also says that first time buyers are ‘stress-tested’ when seeking a mortgage to ensure they can still afford a mortgage at 7.0 per cent interest rates. “But the Bank knows that if landlords were forced to take out repayment mortgages and be stress-tested at seven per cent, then almost the entire buy to let game would implode, sparking the sort of market rout that the Bank is so keen to avoid” it claims.