A number of tax measures have been announced in recent months and these are likely to have a dampening effect on future growth prospects for buy-to-let and the private rented sector (PRS). The reduction of tax reliefs available to private landlords from 2017-18 onwards, announced by the chancellor in the summer 2015 Budget, will adversely affect the future cash flows for affected landlords.
The Treasury has also published a consultation on powers of direction for the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) in the buy-to-let market, and in its December Financial Stability Report, the FPC expressed concern about what might happen if mortgage rates were considerably higher than today's prevailing rates.
However, landlords should be able to mitigate the direct financial impact in a number of ways. Indeed, the latest buy-to-let survey of nearly 1,000 landlords by YouGov implies that the overall impact will be to lift rents higher and to narrow the availability of homes in the PRS. The survey also points to considerable financial resilience on the part of landlords, were they to face the 'double whammy' of higher taxes and base rate rises.
As it happens, the scenario it chose to focus on - the likelihood of landlords' selling their rental properties in the event of their investments turning sour - appears a little contrived. The latest survey highlights the resilience of these investors to interest