Buy-to-let mortgages in the European Union (EU) have narrowly avoided abolition during wide-ranging reforms to lending across the continent. The Mortgage Directive - officially called the Credit Agreements Related to Residential Property Directive (CARRP) - intends to create a single regulatory framework to govern all mortgages in the EU. However, the commission in charge of the directive failed to take account of unusual mortgage nuances, crafting a document that would have made buy-to-let mortgages illegal.
Luckily, the EU has made a u-turn on the legislation. This will ensure the private rented sector is protected and citizens have a cohesive framework to understand the regulatory regime when purchasing properties in the EU. The National Landlords Association (NLA) has welcomed the new safeguards, claiming if buy-to-let mortgages had been outlawed it would have been disastrous - especially as rising house prices in the UK force more people into the rental market.
The NLA has used its pan-European associations with bodies like the International Union of Property Owners to secure the complete exemption for buy-to-let mortgages. The final text is now being analysed by all 27 heads of state and the European Parliament before a vote will take place to sign the reforms off.
David Cox, senior policy officer for the NLA, said: "We have lobbied hard to ensure the UK’s main facility for investing in property to rent can remain in place. The private rented sector is currently the only growing part of the UK’s housing market and I am certain that a mortgage directive including buy to let mortgages would have prohibited this. This really is a success for the NLA and its European colleagues."
The UK rental sector is poised for significant growth over the coming years, with Savills predicting that between 2014 and 2016 more than 600,000 households will be created in the sector. Demand could create more than GBP 150 billion worth of stock in the private rental sector over the next three years alone, as homeownership continues to be too expensive for many.
- Friday 20 September 2013