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Housing: Buy-to-Let

Volume 693: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the effect of the buy-to-let market on (a) the price of housing in the past five years; (b) the amount of housing left empty; and (c) anti-social behaviour of all kinds; and whether they intend to commission research on these matters. [HL4453]

Estimating the precise impact of buy-to-let on the housing market is difficult and there is little evidence available. The buy-to-let market has expanded rapidly in the past 10 years since the creation of dedicated buy-to-let mortgages in 1996, rising from 6 per cent of the private rented stock in 2000 to almost 35 per cent in 2006.

Despite this increase in buy-to-let, the overall size of the private rented sector has remained relatively stable and has only experienced a slight increase as a proportion of total stock from about 10 per cent to 12 per cent. There has been an increase in the proportion of private rented sector properties that are buy-to-let, implying that the increase in buy-to-let mortgages is a reflection of a change in the composition of supply within the private rented sector.

No specific research has been undertaken on the impact of buy-to-let on the amount of housing left empty or anti-social behaviour. The National Affordable Housing and Planning Unit is considering further analysis of the impact of buy-to-let on affordability.