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'Stop attacking buy to let' government is told by news editor

The news editor of London financial daily City AM has made an outspoken attack on the government’s fiscal assaults on the buy to let sector.

Tracey Boles, in a piece published in print and online, says that “no matter what you think of them, the UK needs more landlords if the population grows as predicted.”

Boles’s piece lists the various measures introduced in recent months, or waiting in the wings, for the private rental sector. This includes the three per cent stamp duty franchise, the phased reduction of mortgage interest tax relief, and widespread criticism that buy to let investors take homes which otherwise may be purchased by first time buyers. 

But Boles makes it clear the core problem is an absence of new homes in sufficient numbers to satisfy growing demand. 

“The government should therefore stop tinkering with the buy to let tax regime and look for ways to make housebuilding more attractive” she writes. 

“Without this, there will be no rebalancing of supply and demand, dashing the homeownership dreams of many millennials; rent affordability will grow as an issue, both for tenants and for landlords left staring at empty properties” she continues.

And Boles concludes that without landlords being encouraged to let, “the housing crisis, already writ large, would then reach epic proportions. Nobody would be a winner.”

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