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Announcement:

Moody's: UK buy-to-let tax relief cuts will curb BTL lending in the short term, but 2015 could be the best year yet for BTL deal issuance

04 Aug 2015

Tax relief restrictions will temper house price growth

London, 04 August 2015 -- The restriction of mortgage interest relief for UK buy-to-let (BTL) landlords will, in the short term, curb lending in the sector, which currently makes up 15%-16% of mortgage lending, says Moody's Investors Service in a special report published today. At the same time, 2015 is on track to become the best year for BTL mortgage deal issuance since the credit crunch.

"The government's decision to restrict BTL mortgage interest relief reflects a willingness to put investors and owner-occupied borrowers on a more level playing field, given that the latter cannot claim tax relief on their mortgages," observes Emily Rombeau, a Moody's Analyst.

"First-time buyers' affordability has declined, as they struggle to get on to the property ladder. Affordability constraints and demographic changes have increased the share of privately rented housing - this sector's evolution has strongly contributed to the rapid growth of the BTL sector in recent years," she considers.

"Repeat issuers and new players will support a robust pipeline of BTL RMBS deals this year. Issuance for this segment has accounted for 25.6% of total UK RMBS issuance so far this year, up from 10.2% in 2014," she notes.

Over the coming months, Moody's forecasts that reduced demand for BTL properties will soften UK house price growth. Moody's forecasts that UK house prices will nonetheless rise by up to 5% in 2015, albeit at a slower pace than in 2014. "Notwithstanding the softening in house price growth, the risk of an immediate house price decrease is limited given the housing shortage and the economic recovery," says Ms. Rombeau.

The new report:"UK Buy-to-Let Tax Relief Cuts Will Temper House Price Growth", is available on www.moodys.com.

According to the Moody's report, the BTL market has grown at a steady pace since early 2010, accounting for 16.8% of total gross mortgage lending and 25.3% of total house purchases as of Q1 2015. BTL gross lending volumes have substantially increased, rising to GBP7.6 billion in Q1 2015 from GBP2.0 billion in Q1 2010.

Paragon, the UK's largest buy-to-let specialist, has accounted for around 40% of BTL issuance since the financial crisis, with a total of nine transactions collectively worth GBP3.2 billion. A number of building societies have also tapped the securitisation market: Coventry Building Society and Co-operative Bank PLC in 2012, with Mercia No.1 PLC7 and Cambric Finance Number One PLC; Leeds Building Society in early 2015, with Guildford No. 1 PLC. Precise Mortgages also entered the BTL securitisation sphere this year; the recently established specialist lender has already completed two BTL transactions for a total amount of GBP426 million since January 2015.

Moody's research says that, while UK house prices increased by 3.5% in the first half of 2015 (according to Nationwide), most regions, except for Northern Ireland and Yorkshire & Humberside, experienced a further slow-down in annual price growth in Q2 2015. The monthly year-on-year growth in UK house prices gradually declined to 3.3% from 11.8% in the 12 months to June 2015.

The report is available to Moody's subscribers at http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBS_1006743.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Emily Rombeau
Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Olga Gekht
VP - Sr Credit Officer/Manager
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
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JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's: UK buy-to-let tax relief cuts will curb BTL lending in the short term, but 2015 could be the best year yet for BTL deal issuance
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