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A Million More "Buy To Let" Homes Fuelling Price Rises

Monday, May 19, 2014

One Million Growth In Number Of “Buy To Let” Properties Fuelled By Taxpayers Money Has Contributed To Escalating House Prices Says GMB

Buy to let loans in Q1 2014 were up 46% in volume compared to Q1 2013 and the 3.956 million “buy to let” private properties for rent exceeded the 3.684m social properties for rent at end of 2012/13 says GMB.

GMB responded to statements by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, on house prices rising at a rate of 10% a year across the country - and significantly faster in some regions. The statements were made on Sky News's Murnaghan programme on 18th May. See notes to editors 1 for story on Press Association.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said "Recently GMB revealed that "buy to let" landlords added nearly a million homes to their for rent estate since 2007. See notes to editors 2 for GMB national press release on the issue.

Last week the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that gross buy-to-let loans advanced increased in March by 10% compared to February and were up 56% on March last year. Buy to let loans in first quarter 2014 were up 46% in volume compared to quarter one last year. 

At the end of 2012/13 the 3.956 million “buy to let” private properties for rent now exceeded the 3.684m social properties for rent. There is no doubt this is contributing to the escalating house prices.

This growth is being fuelled by payments of over £9billion a year from taxpayers to private landlords in housing benefits.

This madness must stop. Money should be spent on bricks rather than rents. Councils should be allowed to build houses for rent for the 50% of the population who are priced out of buying their own homes.

There is absolutely no need for private sector "middlemen" being made wealthy using public money to house the massive section of the population priced out of the housing market."

End

Contact: Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Equality and inclusion Officer on 07956 237178 or Gary Doolan 07852 182358 or Cath Speight 07505 711925 or Lisa Johnson 07900 392228 or GMB press office 09921 289880.

Notes to editor

Story on Press Association 18 May 2014

Carney ready to cool housing market

By Gavin Cordon, Press Association Whitehall Editor

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has signalled he is ready to take action to cool Britain's surging housing market amid fears that a new property price bubble could derail the economic recovery.

Mr Carney said the Bank could adopt a range of measures - including imposing a new "affordability test" for borrowers and advising the Government to rein in its controversial Help to Buy scheme.

"We could do more, we could take steps around affordability to test whether or not individuals can afford mortgages at much higher interest rates," he told Sky News's Murnaghan programme.

"We could limit amounts of certain types of mortgages that banks could undertake, we could provide advice - the Chancellor has asked us if we would provide advice on changing the terms of Help to Buy - all those things are possibilities and we will consider them all."

Prime Minister David Cameron said the Bank had "all the powers they need" to prevent a new asset price bubble developing.

However Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that if the Governor advised that Help to Buy - which provides taxpayer-backed mortgages for first-time buyers - should be curtailed, ministers must act.

Mr Carney said that, ultimately, the "deep, deep structural problems" in the property market - with demand far outstripping supply - could only be addressed through a major expansion of the housing stock.

"There are not sufficient houses built in the UK," he said.

With housing prices now rising at a rate of 10% a year across the country - and significantly faster in some regions - Mr Carney said that the housing market now represented the biggest threat to the recovery.

He expressed particular concern about the return of large mortgages - more than four times a borrower's salary - which were associated with the financial crash of 2008 and which were, he said, "creeping up" again.

"We don't want to build up another big debt overhang that is going to hurt individuals and is very much going to slow the economy in the medium term," he said.

"The biggest risk to financial stability, and therefore to the durability of the expansion - those risks centre in the housing market and that's why we are focused on that."

While he said that while Chancellor George Osborne's flagship Help to Buy scheme was still a "relatively small programme", it had the potential to grow and "could change attitudes in other parts of the mortgage market".

"That's why we have to be vigilant," he said.

2 GMB press release on growth in number of landlords being paid rent via housing benefit. 25th April 2014.

NUMBER OF LANDLORDS IN PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR IN RECEIPT OF RENTS FROM PUBLIC FUNDS UP BY 56% IN GREAT BRITAIN BETWEEN NOV 2008 AND NOV 2013

“Buy to let” landlords are now renting out a million more properties than in 2008  and  it would by far cheaper to build social houses for rent to stop £9 billion a year lining the pockets of the already wealthy says GMB

There are 19 areas in Great Britain where the number landlords in the private rented sector being paid rents from public funds went up by over 100% between November 2008 and November 2013. Top is Falkirk up 189.6%, followed by Rushmoor up 162.5%, Boston 142.8%, South Lanarkshire 124.3%, Sheffield 122.6%, North Lanarkshire 120.0%,Sedgemoor 119.8%, Basingstoke and Deane 119.1%, Clackmannanshire 118.4%, Merton 114.1%, Tamworth 109.7%, Wrexham 109.2%, Nottingham UA 107.7%, Surrey Heath 107.7%, Wakefield 105.7%, West Dunbartonshire 104.5%, Telford and Wrekin UA 104.0%, Hertsmere 100.7% and Preston up 100.1%. See notes to editors 5 for figures for these 19 areas. The figures for all 379 councils in GB are set out as pdf at foot of this national release on the GMB website www.gmb.org.uk.

In Great Britain in November 2008 there were 1,054,810 housing benefit claims in the private rented sector. By November 2013 this number had increased by 56% to 1,645,504.

The number of housing benefit claims in the private rented sector in East Midlands is up 68.9% in this period. Next is Yorkshire and The Humber up 68.7%, followed by Scotland 61.8%, North East 60.4%,  London 56.1%, West Midlands 55.4%, North West  53.8%, East of England 53.7%, Wales 51.8%, South West 49.2% and South East up 48.6%. Set out in the table below are the figures for region ranked by the % increase in housing benefit claims in the private rented sector.

Overall the number of private rented households in England grew by nearly one million from 2,982,000 in 2008 to 3, 956,000 in 2012/13. See notes to editor 6 on trends in tenure in England 1980 to 2012-13.

These figures are from a new analysis by GMB of housing benefit claimants in the private rented sector for November 2008 and 2013. See notes to editors for sources and definitions.

In Feb GMB published details of the top twenty company landlords in each of 311 out of 380 councils in Great Britain that receive housing benefit direct from councils for tenants renting their properties. See notes to editors 9  for some firms receiving large sums in housing benefit in GB. Details, where disclosed, for the top twenty landlords ranked by the amounts they received by council are set out in the pdf attached to this national release on GMB website www.gmb.org.uk  for 311 councils in Great Britain.

Last year GMB established that of 15,874 dwellings in council blocks in Wandsworth where tenants acquired the leasehold under 1980s “right to buy” legislation some 6,180 dwellings are now owned by private landlords who rent them to private tenants. That is nearly 40% of the total sold by the council. There are 977 private landlords who own more than one of these 6,180 dwellings. One private landlord owns 93, another owns 32, another 15 landlords each own 10 or more and a further 83 landlords each own between 5 and 9 of these dwellings.

FIGURES FOR ALL REGION AND GB RANKED BY THE % INCREASE IN HOUSING BENEFIT CLAIMS IN PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR 2008 to 2012/13

 

Housing Benefit Claimants in the private

rented sector November 2008

Housing Benefit Claimants in the private rented

sector November 2013

% change in Housing Benefit Claimants

in the private rented sector

 

 

 

 

Great Britain

1,054,810

1,645,504

56.0

England

938,183

1,462,439

55.9

 

 

 

 

East Midlands

64,252

108,527

68.9

Yorkshire and The Humber

87,851

148,221

68.7

Scotland

60,050

97,168

61.8

North East

49,619

79,571

60.4

London

177,717

277,502

56.1

West Midlands

87,903

136,615

55.4

North West

142,751

219,536

53.8

East of England

84,164

129,362

53.7

Wales

56,570

85,896

51.8

South West

103,668

154,663

49.2

South East

140,256

208,449

48.6

Paul Kenny, GMB National Secretary, said ““buy to let” landlords are now renting out a million more properties than in 2008. This growth in "buy to let" empires is paid for  by taxpayer via this massive 56% increase in the number of private landlords in receipt of housing benefits.

Mrs Thatcher's Government changed the labour movement traditional policy of spending money on bricks to spending the money on rents. Labour’s John Burns 1907 law to allow councils to build houses for rent was also reversed then.

Since then, £411 billion of public funds has been spent on rents. It would be far cheaper to build social houses for rent and stop at least £9 billion a year lining the pockets of the already wealthy.

GMB consider that this was a serious policy mistake and the cost to the public purse is now becoming apparent.

GMB want to see this public money fuelling “buy to let” empires replaced with a system directly benefiting those in need of social housing. 

GMB is aiming to secure a fundamental change in policy on funding social housing. This is not a new stance by the union. We want private sector middlemen cut out of public housing provision.

GMB is also seriously concerned about the money spent on rents, rather than bricks and mortar, is fuelling the growth in inequality in our society.”

End

Notes to Editors:

1.         Housing Benefit Claimants in the Private Rented Sector for November 2008 and 2013 available from Department for Work & Pensions Stat-Xplore database (https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/). Cells in the table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Crown Copyright Reserved.

2.         Claimants are as at the second Thursday of the month.

3.         Housing Benefit Expenditure data for 2007/08 and 2012/13 available from Department for Work & Pensions Benefit expenditure and caseload tables 2013 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-2013). Source: DWP Statistical and Accounting data. The figures show Expenditure in £ million on Housing Benefit in nominal terms, reflecting the current situation in 2007/08 and 2012/13 and not taking inflation into account.

4.         The change in the Retail Prices Index between April 2008 and April 2013 is 16.6%

5  The nineteen areas with the highest % growth between Nov 2008 and Nov 2013

rank

 

Housing Benefit Claimants in the private

rented sector November 2008

Housing Benefit Claimants in the private

rented sector November 2013

% change in Housing Benefit Claimants

in the private rented sector

 

 

 

 

 

1

Falkirk

661

1,914

189.6

2

Rushmoor

1,096

2,877

162.5

3

Boston

738

1,792

142.8

4

South Lanarkshire

2,513

5,637

124.3

5

Sheffield

4,630

10,306

122.6

6

North Lanarkshire

2,625

5,775

120.0

7

Sedgemoor

1,582

3,478

119.8

8

Basingstoke and Deane

908

1,989

119.1

9

Clackmannanshire

392

856

118.4

10

Merton

3,507

7,507

114.1

11

Tamworth

660

1,384

109.7

12

Wrexham

1,274

2,665

109.2

13

Nottingham UA

5,620

11,675

107.7

14

Surrey Heath

468

972

107.7

15

Wakefield

3,500

7,200

105.7

16

West Dunbartonshire

737

1,507

104.5

17

Telford and Wrekin UA

3,014

6,149

104.0

18

Hertsmere

834

1,674

100.7

19

Preston

1,871

3,744

100.1

 

6.         Underlying Data on Trends in tenure in England 1980 to 2012-13

 

Underlying Data on Trends in tenure in England 1980 to 2012-13

 

owner occupiers

private renters

social renters

 

 

 

million households

1980

9.680

2.043

5.378

1981

9.860

1.910

5.460

1982

10.237

1.913

5.317

1983

10.613

1.917

5.173

1984

10.990

1.920

5.030

1985

11.305

1.866

4.949

1986

11.619

1.811

4.868

1987

11.934

1.757

4.787

1988

12.248

1.702

4.706

1989

12.515

1.743

4.616

1990

12.782

1.783

4.526

1991

13.050

1.824

4.436

1992

13.069

1.724

4.371

1993

13.280

1.833

4.317

1994

13.429

1.869

4.257

1995

13.467

1.939

4.245

1996

13.522

1.995

4.218

1997

13.629

2.078

4.170

1998

13.817

2.063

4.148

1999

14.091

2.000

4.072

2000

14.340

2.028

3.953

2001

14.359

2.061

3.983

2002

14.559

2.131

3.972

2003

14.701

2.234

3.804

2004

14.678

2.283

3.797

2005

14.791

2.445

3.696

2006

14.791

2.565

3.737

2007

14.733

2.691

3.755

2008

14.628

2.982

3.797

2008-09

14.621

3.067

3.842

2009-10

14.525

3.355

3.675

2010-11

14.450

3.617

3.826

2011-12

14.388

3.843

3.808

2012-13

14.337

3.956

3.684

Note 6

Some firms receiving large sums in housing benefit in GB are as follows:

·      Jomast Property / John Monk & Co – Over £210,000 in the North East. Owner Stuart Monk equal 554th on the Sunday Times Rich List with wealth estimated at £147m. Developed Hartlepool Marina.

·      Stockton Flats - Over £1.7m in total from councils in North East, North West and North Yorkshire.

·      European Wellcare Lifestyles Ltd  - Part of European Care Group. Parent company Esquire Group Investment (Holdings) Ltd based in the British Virgin Islands as are another 5 companies within the group. 4 other group companies are based           in Guernsey.

·      Grainger Residential Management / PHA Ltd / Grip Nomco 1 & 2 - £1.2m across 16 districts. Part of Grainger PLC with fixed assets of £618m, current assets of £1bn and turnover of £283m. In 2013 own 13,353 units with a market value of          £1.8bn. They manage 8,216 units with market value of £953m.

·      Associated Property Owners Ltd – £89,000. Directors are Lady Diana Errington, Robin Errington, Anne Errington, David Errington, Stuart Errington and William Saville. Directors of the parent company, Associated Property Holdings Ltd,              include Sir Geoffrey Errington (2nd Baronet Errington, of Ness).

·      Northwood - National lettings Agency getting over £2.3m nationally.

·      Blackshaw Holdings – £442,000. Owner, John Brooksbank, on the Sunday Times Rich list with wealth estimated at £100m.

·      Martin & Co - Letting Agents, £3.1m from 20 districts nationally.

·      Chatsworth Trust - £10,000

·      LHT Enterprise - £8,800 from Craven. Michael Bannister, owner of Coniston Hall and the Boundary Mill chain.

·      Mountview Estates Plc - Duncan Sinclair, 901st on Sunday Times rich list worth £87m. £300,000 from 9 districts

·      Buckminster Trust Estate – Sir Lyonel Tollemache donor to the Tory party. Buckminster is a country estate in Leicestershire. £37,000.

·      Compton Estates – Castle Ashby Estate, seat of Lord Northampton, Spencer Compton, 7th Marquess of Northampton. One of Britain’s wealthiest aristocrats, =766th on Sunday Times rich list with estimated wealth of £103m. £21,000.

·      Grimsthorpe & Drummond Castle Trust Ltd – owner of Grimsthorpe Castle is Baroness Jane Willoughby De Eresby, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ancaster and grand daughter of Nancy Astor. Inherited Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire and            Drummond Castle in Perthshire. £19,000

·      Cecil Estate Family Trust - £17,000

·      Burghley House Pres. Trust Ltd - £9,000

·      Penk Holdings Ltd – Directors Alan and Joanna Monckton of Horsebrook Hall, Stafford (former High Sheriff of Staffordshire) and Piers Monckton of Stretton Hall, Stafford. £12,000

·      ADA Glossop / Glossop Caravans - £1.1m across 15 districts nationally.

·      Marquess of Hertford - £15,000 from Stratford. Henry Seymour’s country estate is Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.

·      Thorney Bay Park Ltd - £1.45m from Castle Point. Donated £3,000 to conservatives in 2001.

·      Cadogan Estates Ltd - Charles G Cadogan, 8th Earl Cadogan, 18th on Sunday Times Rich list (£3,675m) and Tory donor. £116,000

·      Grosvenor Estate Belgravia - Part of Grovenor Group. Fixed assets of £4,272,300,000. Headed by the Duke of Westminster who is in the Sunday Times Rich list as 8th richest person in Britain with wealth estimated at £7.8bn. £243,000

·      Lazari Investments Ltd – Chris Lazari is 101st on the Sunday Times Rich list with wealth estimated at 858m. £200,000

·      Woodlands Estates – Owned by Andrew Charalambous, UKIP housing spokesman. £0.7m

·      Caridon Property - £2.6m across 9 London Boroughs

·      Cowdray Estate / Paddockhurst Estate - £118,000. Viscount Cowdray listed on the Sunday Times rich list in =224th place with wealth estimated at £400m. The family firm is the Pearson Media Group and he the family seat is Cowdray Park in West Sussex.

·      Southwick Estates - £39,000 from Winchester. A 7,000 acre private estate which owns nearly all of the village of Southwick. Owned by the Thistlethwayte family.

·      Englefield Estate / Gerald Palmer Eling Trust – Owned by conservative MP, Richard Benyon. His family are =713th on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £110m. He is one of the wealthiest MPs in Parliament. The family seat is Englefield House and 20,000 acre Estate in Berkshire. £626,000

·      Yattendon Estates - £195,000 from West Berkshire. Lord Robert Iliffe =333rd on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £245m. Yattendon is a 9,000 acre estate in West Berkshire

·      Patricroft Investments - £49,000 from Worthing. Company is based in Gibralter.

·      Allsop Residential Investment Management Ltd – one of the partners is Timothy Theakston, one of the Theakston Brewery brothers. £137,000 from Brighton & Hove

·      HRH Estates Company - £349,000 from Medway

·      Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates – Sir Richard Sutton, 9th Baronet, =522nd on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £150m. £68,000 from West Berkshire.

·      Blackmoor Estate Ltd - £18,000 from East Hampshire. Owned by the Earl and Countess of Selborne. Earl Selborne is a conservative hereditary peer.

·      Knepp Castle Estate Office - £15,000 from Horsham. A 3,500 acre Estate in West Sussex owned by Sir Charles Burrell, 10th Baronet. Owner of Knepp Castle.

·      Viscount Asquith Estate - £17,000 from Mendip.

·      Morden Estates - £14,000 from Purbeck. Owned by Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, conservative MP for South Dorset. Family seat is Charborough House in Dorset.

·      Powis Castle Estates - £34,000 from Powys. Owned by John Herbert, 8th Earl of Powis

·      Hawarden Estate – Sir Erskine ‘William’ Gladstone, 7th Baronet, owner of Hawarden Castle in Flintshire. £43,000 from Flintshire.

·      Strathmore Estates Holding Ltd - Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the Queens cousin and owner of Glamis Castle £11,500 from Angus.

·      Moray Estates Development Company - Earl of Moray, owner of Darnaway Castle. £10,000 from Moray.

·      Argyll Estates - £126,000 from Argyll and Bute. 50,000 acre estate including Inveraray Castle, home to Torquhil Campbell, the Duke of Argyll.

·      Wemyss Properties Ltd – Owned by William Wemyss, part of a Scottish business dynasty which includes property, whisky and gin production and energy production. £141,000 from Fife.

·      Haddo Estate - £42,000 from Aberdeenshire. Owned by the Marquess and Marchioness of Aberdeen.

 

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