The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has called on the government to make no more landlord tax changes for the time being.
Over the last couple of years buy to let investors have had to deal with the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge, changes to tax relief and stricter affordability checks on buy to let finance.
The latest CML figures have shown that the expected recovery in buy to let lending has not happened, with lending to landlords still down.
As a result of the latest buy to let mortgage data, the CML has cut its forecast for lending to the private rental sector.
The original forecast expected total buy to let lending to reach £38 billion in 2017, and the same figure for 2018. However, they have now cut their forecast to £35 billion for this year, and further cut the forecast for 2018 to £33 billion.
This follows total lending to the sector of £41 billion during 2016.
CML director Paul Smee commented: ‘Buy to let had a weak start to 2017, and the sector’s contribution to overall net mortgage lending has fallen considerably over the last year.
‘While falling mortgage interest rates have helped support borrowing, tax and prudential measures are exerting pressure on the buy to let market. Following the distortion of the stamp duty change on second properties last year, we expected a slight recovery in lending levels. However, this has not materialised, and we therefore have lowered our forecast for buy to let lending this year and next.
‘This re-emphasises the case for avoiding further changes to the tax and regulatory framework until the effect of these already in train have been properly assessed.’
Mortgage lending overall remained stable and the CML forecast a total of £248 billion for 2017, despite the housing market stalling somewhat over the last few months.