The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into the economics of the UK housing market in November last year, investigating the supply and affordability of housing, and to review the effectiveness of government policies to provide low cost housing both to rent and to buy.
David Smith, policy director at the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA), has given the committee his tuppence worth, telling them that the bashing of buy-to-let landlords is an unjustifiable distraction from the real issue: the lack of housing supply.
“Unless we address supply radically, there will be no significant change in housing cost. Simply shifting the dynamics so that it is more attractive to owner-occupiers than it is to private landlords does not increase supply; it just moves property around a merry-go-round,” he said.
“We must increase supply. Everything else, to some extent, is a red herring.”
While he was there, he also made an appeal for a further reform of the unpopular three percent stamp duty surcharge, which comes into effect next week. He recommended waiving the surcharge for buy-to-let landlords who bring a new property onto the market, thereby incentivising landlords to help increase supply.