PRA proposes affordability tests for BTL as stamp duty surcharge kicks in
Week in Westminster
Published: 1 April 2016 | Author: Michelle Vosper
The buy-to-let market has been in the spotlight this week. The new stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties and second homes comes into force today (1 April). While the Prudential Regulation Authority published proposals for consultation to introduce minimum standards for lenders underwriting buy-to-let mortgage contracts.
BIS launched a consultation on moving Land Registry operations into the private sector. The preferred model being proposed is a privatisation of Land Registry consisting of a contract between government and a private operator, with all the core functions transferred out of the public sector, but with key safeguards for Land Registry customers and government being maintained.
Meanwhile the Law Commission is consulting on the legal framework that governs the registration of land in England and Wales to consider whether there are opportunities for the system to be clarified and updated.
The “housing question” was the subject of a newly published report by the think tank Civitas. The report asserts that it is unrealistic to expect the market alone to provide all of the homes we need. The homes not built in by private sector need to be provided by the public sector, requiring significant public funds and direct commissioning of house building by the state, whether that be by central government, regional bodies or councils. Combined with this, Civitas says that the amount of land made available for development needs to be significantly increased, and we need to ensure developers build it out at the rate that homes are needed, rather than the rate at which the highest returns can be obtained.