The Tories should take the blame for the landlord exodus and crisis-hit private rental sector, according to one leading investment guru.
Financial columnist and author Matthew Lynn says that for the last decade, the party has been in an all-out war against buy-to-let landlords, imposing extra taxes that don't apply to any other form of commercial operation and making them responsible for everything from controlling immigration to ensuring the country hits net zero 'by sometime next week'�.
Writing in The Telegraph, Lynn (pictured) explains: 'The UK needs a healthy, functional owner-occupied and rental sector, but we are further away from both than ever.
"In fact, the UK now faces a full-scale landlord exodus '� and the dismal truth is that this is a crisis entirely of the Conservative government's own making.'�
He believes that if the Tories hadn't imposed so many extra costs on landlords over the last decade, we wouldn't be witnessing the numbers leaving the market.
'Nor would tenants be facing a catastrophic shortage of supply, and crippling increases in the cost of finding somewhere to live. The net result is that a sector that includes 4.9 million homes and accounts for 19% of the total housing market is now a total mess.'�
Lynn adds that the Tories have not built anything like enough new homes to keep pace with the extra demand for housing that mass immigration creates.
'The Conservatives have tried to fix that by pinning the blame on buy-to-let landlords," he says.
"And yet the crisis in the rental market is entirely of the government's own making and has been brewing for a decade or more.
"Until we stop demonising landlords, and recognise that they are part of a functioning, mixed-ownership housing market, we won't have any chance of fixing that.'�
Data recently released by Savills shows that almost all rental markets in the UK have seen significant reductions in stock. Its data compares the final three months of last year with the 2017-2019 average, highlighting reductions varying from -21% in Edinburgh to -64% in Newcastle.
Read his column in full.
Picture credit: Flickr/Matthew Lynn.