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Bank Of England Trends In Lending Btl Special Edition

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FreeTrader has already flagged the April 2015 Trends in Lending released today, but I think that the section on buy-to-let could do with a slightly louder shout. As I've flagged on another thread last July Donald Kohn, external member of the Financial Policy Committee, made an odd remark about BTL asserting that it was a safety valve that wasn't entirely safe.

I'm going to try to avoid editorialising, but just encourage other posters to dip into Trends in Lending April 2015. The discussion in Trends in Lending is very dry, but one thing that it does go to the trouble of pointing out is that buy-to-let was magicked out of nowhere in about 1996. One interpretation would be that the Bank of England are flagging that the one form of stupid, risky, predatory lending left over from the pre-2008 bubble that is not dead, but is in rude health and growing steadily and quickly. I just think that it is interesting that they went to the trouble of pointing it out.

Edited by bland unsight

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The proportion of BTL advances accounted for by re-mortgaging is interesting at c.50%. I couldn't find an equivalent graph for OO mortgages for comparison, but my intuition is that the BTL percentage is relatively high.

I'm guessing that the BTL re-mortgaging activity is split between some "equity release" to fund further purchases (the BTL magic where debt becomes equity) and refinancing at cheaper interest rates at the end of 5 year deals.

Given the level of underlying churn in BTL financing that seems to be indicated it could get pretty painful pretty quickly for leveraged landlords if interest rates start climbing. An interest rate rise from 2% to 3% would represent a 50% increase in the largest single cost category for a leveraged landlord. That tends to be a hefty kick in the financial nuts for most businesses.

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I'm guessing that the BTL re-mortgaging activity is split between some "equity release" to fund further purchases (the BTL magic where debt becomes equity) and refinancing at cheaper interest rates at the end of 5 year deals.

...

If BTLers are MEWing out gains as they go, then they could be extremely vulnerable to a move in prices, because regardless of the move in prices since the time that they'd bought which could have given more of an equity cushion, they'd have MEWed out those gains already, leaving them just as leveraged as Day One.

All that re-mortgaging suggests that this is possible. Knowledge of UK pwoperdee madness and bank rapacity would suggest it was probable, but as with so much of the detail of BTL, if it is in the public domain, I have no idea where to find it.

All that does get published is analysis along the following lines:

article-1326196173340-021e3f97000004b0-3

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If BTLers are MEWing out gains as they go, then they could be extremely vulnerable to a move in prices, because regardless of the move in prices since the time that they'd bought which could have given more of an equity cushion, they'd have MEWed out those gains already, leaving them just as leveraged as Day One.

All that re-mortgaging suggests that this is possible. Knowledge of UK pwoperdee madness and bank rapacity would suggest it was probable, but as with so much of the detail of BTL, if it is in the public domain, I have no idea where to find it.

All that does get published is analysis along the following lines:

article-1326196173340-021e3f97000004b0-3

I hadn't considered that impact (ie. the depletion of the equity), but was more focused on the duration of the interest rate deals.

I hadn't really comprehended how sensitive the whole thing could be to interest rate moves. At the moment we seem to be in an "upward cycle" - decreasing interest rates drive increased demand for BTL which drives prices which creates "equity" which is then used to fund more BTL purchases.

The downward cycle could be equally self perpetuating - interest rates rise forcing unprofitable landlords to seek an exit from the market, this starts to move prices down, banks worry about falling LTV's and seek margin protection from the landlords in the form of cash calls, this drives more landlords to exit and further reduces prices, banks take fright and jack up interest rates meaning landlords face significantly increased costs when they refinance, landlords stampede for the door...

Given where we currently are a 1% increase in the base rate over the next 3 years might be enough to trigger this.....

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Given where we currently are a 1% increase in the base rate over the next 3 years might be enough to trigger this.....

We don't need the base rate to move to give us rising BTL mortgage rates. End of FLS should have repercussions - which is at least in part what I understood Carney to be saying here.

One of the points we have made—and I think people may be getting a little tired of this, but I am going to make it again—is that we expect interest rate increases, when they happen, to follow a gradual path and rise to a limited extent. There are many reasons for the word “limited”, but one of the reasons is exactly your point, which is that we think there is going to be a higher intermediation spread, the cost of capital and the greater cost of liquidity, that will be passed on by banks, so that the net cost to the borrower is the same. It may not be the same as the pre-crisis excess, but it will be the same as it should have been maybe in the mid-2000s, mid-1990s, so it is the same level. The risk-free rate is likely to be lower; we adjust the risk-free rate lower.

Source: Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee - Annual evidence session with the Governor of the Bank of England on 10 March 2015

Presently the FLS counterparty swap allows banks to offer their balance sheet crap to the Bank of England in exchange for gilts and then borrow with the gilts as collateral, allowing them to borrow relatively cheaply. We don't need the base rate to rise to toast these BTLers, we just need the banks' borrowing costs to track away from the risk free rate. Carney is broadcasting that he expects that to happen. Ending FLS will make that more likely to happen.

BTL is such a shower of shit. Even the thing that makes it 'work' today (very low fixes) makes it more dangerous as it reduces the room for further reductions in fixed rates and increases the impact of any rate rise from whatever driver, when it eventually turns up, (for example if you're at 3%, then half a percentage on the mortgage rate is almost 20% on the interest-only mortgage payment). If my landlord tried to stick me for the 20% hike by bumping the rent 15%, they'd be asking for 5% of my take home pay. Good f**king luck with that. And that kind of arithmetic applies to anyone parting with about 30%-35% of their take home pay as rent. This here is madness.

Edited by bland unsight

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It's 2007 all over again.

We all know what's coming this summer.

BBQ summer, where we dont have to go abroad for a sun-tan?

Gordon made the BBC say so.

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Given where we currently are a 1% increase in the base rate over the next 3 years might be enough to trigger this.....

It's not going down so well for some West Brom BTLers... finding their lender raised the rate due to market conditions. With at least one of the landlords who refused to pay higher rate - sticking to the old rate by cancelling direct debits and setting up new ones - since way back before court case... senior professional approaching retirement years working in Knightsbridge with 10 BTLs between him and his wife. Wangled his way with some law background to lender agreeing to give him a whopping 7 days notice of their intention to appoint LPA Receiver.

What are the BoE up to?

FreeTrader has already flagged the April 2015 Trends in Lending released today, but I think that the section on buy-to-let could do with a slightly louder shout. As I've flagged on another thread last July Donald Kohn, external member of the Financial Policy Committee, made an odd remark about BTL asserting that it was a safety valve that wasn't entirely safe.

I'm going to try to avoid editorialising, but just encourage other posters to dip into Trends in Lending April 2015. The discussion in Trends in Lending is very dry, but one thing that it does go to the trouble of pointing out is that buy-to-let was magicked out of nowhere in about 1996. One interpretation would be that the Bank of England are flagging that the one form of stupid, risky, predatory lending left over from the pre-2008 bubble that is not dead, but is in rude health and growing steadily and quickly. I just think that it is interesting that they went to the trouble of pointing it out.

Which part of the BoE puts these Trend things out... is it considered an important part.. to be cleared with Carney. Some narked off juniors at BoE renting their days out?

Think. What had the Excession done up until now? What could it possibly be doing ? What was it for? Why did it do what it did?

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We don't need the base rate to move to give us rising BTL mortgage rates. End of FLS should have repercussions - which is at least in part what I understood Carney to be saying here.

One thing to remember about FLS (I'm sure you know this, but journos constantly get it wrong) is that it's the drawdown period that ends on 29 Jan 2016. That's currently the latest date by which FLS participants will be able to borrow T-bills from the scheme.

Once drawn however, the banks can borrow the T-bills for up to four years. Consequently the scheme will theoretically be operational until the end of Jan 2020, although judging by the usage data a large proportion of the current £56bn of drawings will have expired by the end of 2017.

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One thing to remember about FLS (I'm sure you know this, but journos constantly get it wrong) is that it's the drawdown period that ends on 29 Jan 2016. That's currently the latest date by which FLS participants will be able to borrow T-bills from the scheme.

Once drawn however, the banks can borrow the T-bills for up to four years. Consequently the scheme will theoretically be operational until the end of Jan 2020, although judging by the usage data a large proportion of the current £56bn of drawings will have expired by the end of 2017.

Looks like they magicked up a 1-year-extension to FLS. They could do again.. but so what. Is this money getting out much into the wild?

Still on the negative side it appears to me: 22nd Feb 2015. http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/fls/q414.aspx

Net lending by FLS Extension participants to all businesses was -£6.9bn in the fourth quarter of 2014. The fall was driven primarily by net lending to large companies, which was -£6.3bn. Net lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was also negative at -£0.8bn, while net lending to Non-bank credit providers (NBCPs) was £0.2bn.

[..]As discussed in the February 2015 Inflation Report3, aggregate net lending (i.e. including lending by banks and building societies not participating in the FLS) to private non-financial corporations (PNFCs) declined in 2014 Q4, despite improvements in credit conditions. This was partly driven by net lending to businesses in the real estate sector, which declined at a marked pace over 2014. At the same time, some measures of net lending to businesses outside of this sector continued to increase compared with a year earlier, albeit at a slightly slower pace (Chart 2).

I don't understand technical-data like you do, FreeTrader - I don't mind FLS if it bolsters bank capital positions into a hpc. Pump and dump; low rates... fewer applicants wanting to borrow anyway (because of high risk prices), and banks saying 'No' to hopeless-chancers who have no security to feast upon when things go south.

The timidity of the banking system appears to have been general and widespread. Indeed, the 1939 survey found that over half the reasons given for credit refusals by banks were "bank policy"; only a third were because of "the condition of the borrowing concern."

-Michael A.Bernstein

The Great Depression

With the value of real estate collateral falling, the true market value of construction and real estate loans will fall. Bankers and other lenders, like their predecessors after 1929, will not wish to magically turn one dollar of cash into a loan worth eighty cents, much less sixty cents. When the value of collateral falls, and the public's demand for saving safety rises, even easy money may not stop deflation.

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One thing to remember about FLS (I'm sure you know this, but journos constantly get it wrong) is that it's the drawdown period that ends on 29 Jan 2016. That's currently the latest date by which FLS participants will be able to borrow T-bills from the scheme.

Once drawn however, the banks can borrow the T-bills for up to four years. Consequently the scheme will theoretically be operational until the end of Jan 2020, although judging by the usage data a large proportion of the current £56bn of drawings will have expired by the end of 2017.

(Emphasis added)

Absolutely, so here is my argument.

New lending is all I care about on the BTL front.

New lending sets current prices. New lending allows the capital gains magic money machine to run. The duration of the class of 2015 does not concern me. The prices that the class of 2016 can pay when borrowing from banks who in turn are borrowing on the strength of their own balance sheet is what interests me.

Especially if that balance sheet is 20% wing and a prayer BTL crap.

Edited by bland unsight

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...

Which part of the BoE puts these Trend things out... is it considered an important part.. to be cleared with Carney. Some narked off juniors at BoE renting their days out?

Trends in Lending is one of the major BoE publications. If you are into your central bank Kremlinology, it's the only way to go. Whenever I waste an afternoon watching Carney give evidence at a select committee or answer questions at the Inflation Report press conference etc. I'm always surprised that alongside a finger on the pulse of all the proper capital markets shit, he has his facts down on BTL, off the cuff, no reference to notes. If word one of Trends in Lending gets issued without him signing off on it, I'd be astonished.

Face facts. We are working through a banking crisis. The heart of the crisis in the UK is crappy mortgage lending. BTL is as crappy as anything else that was ever written. Now that self-cert IO to OOers is gone, BTL is the crappiest of the crappy. Even if the absence of a remit to protect mug investors means that they can't step in on those grounds, if it is material, and BTL is a material proportion of mortgage lending, and mortgage lending is the banks, then the financial stability remit means that they have to watch it and find ways to intervene if circumstances demand.

There was a sea-change in the world view of central bankers in 2008. When f**kwit in chief Greenspan accepts that there was a "flaw" then surely you know that everyone was on the same page, (well everyone except the shitheads at Nationwide and their ilk, still drawing an undeserved salary making sure that 15% of their 2015 loan book is BTL).

The losers at the CML are just making hay whilst the sun shines till they blow themselves up once and for all or a grown up comes along to stop them. There is nothing to see here apart from idiots operating an idiot machine which seeks nothing but is disposed by circumstance and necessity to discover its own destruction.

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Trends in Lending is one of the major BoE publications. If you are into your central bank Kremlinology, it's the only way to go. Whenever I waste an afternoon watching Carney give evidence at a select committee or answer questions at the Inflation Report press conference etc. I'm always surprised that alongside a finger on the pulse of all the proper capital markets shit, he has his facts down on BTL, off the cuff, no reference to notes. If word one of Trends in Lending gets issued without him signing off on it, I'd be astonished.

Good answer (inc continuation section I didn't quote). Yes I accept it's working through a banking crisis - seemingly in a way which doesn't spook other holders/values of assets banks want to smooth out / divest, to continued misery of those who waiting for market value. Although there are times I question that, and wonder if it's all one continuation VI fest/quest, with no correction to come - and with some of his words (I will come back to later), it does worry me. I like the way you and others try and identify misdirection.

I've got a page-save of the rental listing of the 5-bed semi in West Hampstead they originally rented. It was on market asking £3,450 pw before it dropped off market, when they became tenants.

Looks like they've moved onto a new rental, or maybe buying a house in UK, as suggested in the article. How would that stack up... him buying a UK house in this market... and I would imagine it would be something of a house, at least as good as the rental. Sigh.. so I have concerns.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2971220/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Smart-Bank-boss-Carney-finds-new-home.html

Edited by Venger

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We don't need the base rate to move to give us rising BTL mortgage rates. End of FLS should have repercussions - which is at least in part what I understood Carney to be saying here. [...] Carney is broadcasting that he expects that to happen. Ending FLS will make that more likely to happen.

BTL is such a shower of shit. Even the thing that makes it 'work' today (very low fixes) makes it more dangerous as it reduces the room for further reductions in fixed rates and increases the impact of any rate rise from whatever driver, when it eventually turns up, (for example if you're at 3%, then half a percentage on the mortgage rate is almost 20% on the interest-only mortgage payment). If my landlord tried to stick me for the 20% hike by bumping the rent 15%, they'd be asking for 5% of my take home pay. Good f**king luck with that. And that kind of arithmetic applies to anyone parting with about 30%-35% of their take home pay as rent. This here is madness.

He/they play with your head (as it should be) - unless when they talk about further banking sector, they're really thinking that way, and not of contracting it / making it safer. We each choose to make our housing decisions... rent, buy, BTL, own.. not to sell into low-inventory market where many regions scorching high prices.

Thursday 24 October 2013. (Mark Carney) "The Bank of England today is the friend of resilient banks, continuous markets, and good collateral; and we are the enemy of taxpayer bailouts, fragile markets and financial instability," he said. "Our facilities are not ornamental. They are there to be used by banks to access money and high quality collateral. We are offering money and collateral for longer terms. "The range of assets we will accept in exchange will be wider, extending to raw loans and, in fact, any asset of which we are capable of assessing the risks. "And using our facilities will be cheaper. In some cases the fees are being more than halved."

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/24/mark-carney-bank-of-england-help-lower-cost

Monday 8 December 2014. Britain’s exposure to its banks, already the largest in the G20 group of leading nations, is set to double in the next 35 years. “The size of the UK banking system might roughly double from its current size to over 950% of GDP by 2050, far outstripping the projected increase in other G20 banking systems,” the Bank of England said. The UK’s banking system is currently 450% of GDP, Threadneedle Street said. In money terms, it would amount to a rise from over £5tn to £60tn.

[..]The banking system has undergone a dramatic shift in past 40 years, with assets rising from about 100% of GDP in 1975, the Bank of England said. It said the UK’s banking system was the largest out of Japan, the US and the 10 biggest EU economies. Nearly a fifth of global banking activity is booked in the UK, where there are 150 deposit-taking foreign branches of banks and almost 100 foreign subsidiaries from more than 50 countries. In a speech last year, the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, said the UK could sustain such a large banking sector provided that reforms overhauling banks’ operations are implemented. It said there were a number of reasons the banking system was so big – the cluster effect of banks being attracted to existing financial sectors, an advantage in banking services and, perhaps, implicit government subsidies for the sector.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/08/uk-banking-system-size-bank-of-england-mark-carney

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He/they play with your head (as it should be) - unless when they talk about further banking sector, they're really thinking that way, and not of contracting it / making it safer. We each choose to make our housing decisions... rent, buy, BTL, own.. not to sell into low-inventory market where many regions scorching high prices.

Seems like a target for the bankrupt of england, where's the rebalancing you *****?

Monday 8 December 2014. Britain’s exposure to its banks, already the largest in the G20 group of leading nations, is set to double in the next 35 years. “The size of the UK banking system might roughly double from its current size to over 950% of GDP by 2050, far outstripping the projected increase in other G20 banking systems,” the Bank of England said. The UK’s banking system is currently 450% of GDP, Threadneedle Street said. In money terms, it would amount to a rise from over £5tn to £60tn.

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I've got a page-save of the rental listing of the 5-bed semi in West Hampstead they originally rented. It was on market asking £3,450 pw before it dropped off market, when they became tenants.

Looks like they've moved onto a new rental, or maybe buying a house in UK, as suggested in the article. How would that stack up... him buying a UK house in this market... and I would imagine it would be something of a house, at least as good as the rental. Sigh.. so I have concerns.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2971220/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Smart-Bank-boss-Carney-finds-new-home.html

27 February 2015

He recently told us, somewhat ominously, to ‘enjoy’ low mortgage rates while they last. So has the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney taken his own advice?

Barely 18 months after he took up residence in a £3million rented home in London’s West Hampstead, Carney and his family this week moved out of the six-bedroom red-brick house to a new, as yet unknown, location.

Despite his repeated warnings that Britain’s booming housing market poses the biggest risk to Britain’s economic recovery, it is thought that the silky-smooth Governor may have decided to purchase a permanent home in the capital for his British wife and four daughters.

If that is the case, he may now himself be benefiting from Britain’s record-low interest rates that the Bank of England has maintained since he took office.

[..]‘We are very disappointed he is leaving. He and his family seemed lovely and were friendly to the street,’ says a resident. ‘It’s terribly sad to see him go.’

Added another: ‘I didn’t think the Carneys would stay — I’m not sure the road’s posh enough.’ Carney moved into the property in July 2013.

At the time I, and one other hpcer, followed up the Daily Mail interior pics in a story about their rental house (Carney's wife having Tweeted about difficulty of finding anywhere due to all the rich French [as I recall it + other nationalities / wealth] all coming to London.).... but we both chose not to list up its location on hpc. Seemed wrong to do so... new to country, big job (with personal hope trigger HPC), family there, fully entitled to privacy....

As they've reportedly now moved from that rental, can post up the archived rental link.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2357071/Inside-875k-Bank-chief-Mark-Carneys-home-costing-YOU-11-000-month.html

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-26314950.html

What I didn't notice at the time, was the owner/landlord bought it in 2007 for £2,955,000 if there's no mixup with the archived pics-to-address-sold price data... back when it was cheap eh, for houses on 'non-posh' roads, before the excuse giving 'think of the victims of a hpc' double-down reflation.

Nothing up for sale or on rental market, at the moment, for that postcode.

Edited by Venger

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I agree that it is the volumes of lending that is keeping prices high, sheer amounts of credit being pumped into housing via BTL lending. BTL lending using debt as a deposit, debt equity from a increased in value property most commonly an OO property but also other BTL properties......this is feeding greater lending/borrowing thus feeding into higher prices.

Not only that many of these loans or most of these loans are on interest only.....with income crietera linked to rents not the borrowers working income......BTL has now become so far removed from ordinary owner occupier working people having to have a saved deposit with a loan that both pays interest and principle each month......this is both unfair and uncompetitive.

Could be said raising and excessive BTL borrowing not only has created an unlevel playing field it has also been detrimental to normal homebuyers by help creating higher home prices.

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I would suggest that if rates go up and landlords' backs are against the wall, things are going to get very nasty. A lot of renters will be pushed out of homes as landloirds desperately seek higher rents to cover costs. Lots of homelessness for a period.

I would suggest this whole system is ripe for social instability and landlords must be mad in to be in that sort of business when things get nasty.

This is pretty plainly untrue. If there was someone willing to pay that higher price for the property, they would be paying it now. If landlords kick people out, they have to fill the home or lose it. We have to decide, do landlords set the prices at the level they want regardless, or does the demand side set the prices at the level they can afford (people cannot borrow money for rent)? I believe it is the latter.

Landlords were saved by the last rate reductions and some (not all) will be in trouble with rate increases.

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I would suggest that if rates go up and landlords' backs are against the wall, things are going to get very nasty. A lot of renters will be pushed out of homes as landloirds desperately seek higher rents to cover costs. Lots of homelessness for a period.

I would suggest this whole system is ripe for social instability and landlords must be mad in to be in that sort of business when things get nasty.

20080218-cr%20osu.jpg

Yep it'll end with a whimper not a bang.

Outside of London - and probably in London - rental is pretty flexible.

Put rents up and people move somewhere cheaper or more people move in.

LLS puting rents up will result in voids, which will cause them cash flow issues, leading to defaults.

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Good answer (inc continuation section I didn't quote). Yes I accept it's working through a banking crisis - seemingly in a way which doesn't spook other holders/values of assets banks want to smooth out / divest, to continued misery of those who waiting for market value. Although there are times I question that, and wonder if it's all one continuation VI fest/quest, with no correction to come - and with some of his words (I will come back to later), it does worry me. I like the way you and others try and identify misdirection.

I've got a page-save of the rental listing of the 5-bed semi in West Hampstead they originally rented. It was on market asking £3,450 pw before it dropped off market, when they became tenants.

Looks like they've moved onto a new rental, or maybe buying a house in UK, as suggested in the article. How would that stack up... him buying a UK house in this market... and I would imagine it would be something of a house, at least as good as the rental. Sigh.. so I have concerns.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2971220/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Smart-Bank-boss-Carney-finds-new-home.html

Presumably his contract housing allowance is for rental housing only? If he is buying, presumably he is doing it with his own money?

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"Landlords backs against the wall... interest rate rises (etc) = Things will get nasty... desperate landlords jacking rents, homelessness"

Not all landlords going to be under pressure - desperate landlords can't rig price about what tenants will/can pay.

One report I read on hpc the other day, was saying how BTL repossession rate isn't fully clear, because so many portfolios go to be managed by receivers (presumably bank getting direct payment in many instances from rents). Renters not noticing much change at all... new landlord to pay. Probably a better landlord - professional receiver.... less chance popping around/entering... not getting things fixed when broken.

I seem to recall landlords wanting to keep tenants in 2008-09... but many a time repo turned up and tenant had no powers to stop repo because it wasn't a BTL mortgage. That got changed/improved.... more writing to occupier in advance at the address. Some additional rights to see out tenancy period. So things are better for tenants, and worse for landlords, next HPC/'back-against-the-wall' - which won't be all landlords but just hopefully the over-leveraged chancers who need removing from market, and sufficient numbers to bring on HPC when banks sell for lower prices, imo.

The anti-HPC element will always try to play upon that it's best there is no HPC for renter-savers own sakes.

If you really do want a House Price Crash then by all means focus on that. Be careful what you wish for those. I accept that there will be further house price crashes in my lifetime, my focus on on surviving them. So far I have survived two.

No, but the fond remembrance of his sagacity will live forever in our hearts - "Be careful what you wish for those". Wise words.

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