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No u-turn likely on tax relief changes, says Whittaker PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 November 2016
Those anticipating a u-turn from Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Autumn Statement on the mortgage interest tax relief changes – due to be introduced in April next year - are likely to be left disappointed, says David Whittaker of Mortgages for Business.

Speaking at today’s Financial Services Expo (FSE) Midlands at the RICOH Arena in Coventry, Whittaker said that Hammond was unlikely to change the policy. He said: “Hammond hasn’t got ownership of this problem, so doesn’t have to fix it. Once HMRC has a line of income coming in, if the Government gets rid of it, they’re going to ask how it’s going to be replaced. Tinkering with this would not be welcomed.”

Whittaker also suggested that the buy-to-let sector was unlikely to see an influx of new lenders whilst these changes, and those requested by the PRA in terms of mortgage underwriting, were being introduced.

“First of all I’d like to say well done to Vida Homeloans for getting launched,” he said. “But I think other potential new entrants will be sitting it out for a while. I certainly wouldn’t be looking to launch a lender into these unchartered waters.”

He also outlined his views that buy-to-let lending levels could well tail-off slightly in the next couple of years, particularly as lenders came to terms with the PRA’s new requirements specifically around the greater amount of paperwork that will be required by lenders for portfolio landlords, newly-defined as those with four buy-to-let properties.

“In terms of gross lending I think we are looking at £40bn next year if we’re lucky; in 2018 we could then see a 10-15% drop,” he said. “I think the market will log-jam and lenders will take fright; some lenders don’t know where to start when it comes to collecting the paperwork required [by the new portfolio landlord rules.”

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