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52,300 More Buy To Let Homes

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Growth In Number Of Buy To Let Homes In 2015 Will Add £440m To Annual Cost Of Housing Benefit Paid To Private Landlords In 2016

Growth in buy to let lending will give rise to even more claims for housing benefit to pay the rents quite apart from pricing  would be home owners out of the market  says GMB.

The rapid growth in the number of new buy to let (BTL) homes so far in 2015, if it continues for the rest of the year, will add £440m to the annual cost of housing benefits to private landlords. This is according to as new GMB study released to coincide with a GMB demonstration on housing in London today (2nd July). See notes to editors for details of the GMB protest.

The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that in the first 3 months of 2015 a total of 52,300 homes were added to the stock of 4.1 million buy to let homes. The figures for the past five months are as follows:


Number of Gross BTL advances in period

Value of Gross BTL advances
















1st Quarter 2015




Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Officer for Equality, said “This growth in buy to let lending will give rise to even more claims for housing benefit to pay the rents quite apart from pricing  would be home owners out of the market. 

Taxpayers already pay rent to private landlords owning nearly 1.6 m dwelling in England and Wales.

This latest growth will likely add another 20,000 new claimants in a single quarter and 80,000 over the year. The annual cost next year to taxpayers will be at least £440m.

Housing benefits to meet housing costs for rented accommodation on low incomes is a Thatcher Tory policy. The cost has ballooned to £23 billion per year.

Over the past 30 years a huge slice of the £411billions of taxpayer’s funds spent on this Tory policy has been funneled to private landlords as “corporate” welfare.

Labour’s traditional and more cost effective policy of building good quality houses to let at affordable rent for those on low incomes was ditched. Much of the stock of social housing that was sold off is now in the hands of “buy to rent” private landlords.

In Wandsworth for example there are 977 private landlords who own more than one of the 6,180 ex council leasehold homes sold under the “right to buy” which are now owned by “buy to let” landlords. 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. Many of their tenants are in receipt of housing benefit rather than being charged affordable rents.

Public funds should be switched to investment in social housing and away from this failed expensive Tory policy of corporate welfare and private greed.

Half the cash spent in Britain on housing benefit last year would fund over 80,000 new homes each year across the country.

GMB wants councils to be allowed to build new homes to let at affordable rents all across the country.

There are 177,000 new housing units in the capital with planning permission in place but where the development has stalled. The mayor Boris Johnson knows the problem but he is he doing nothing about it.

Ending corporate welfare will save taxpayer’s money and will kick start the local economy. It will provide families with better quality houses with more security of tenure.”


Contact: Sam Gould GMB Young London or  07735 487673 or Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237178 or GMB press office 07921 2898880.

Notes to editors

GMB press release on London Housing demo:


Rents are out of control in London, young people can’t even dream of buying their own home and we have a severe lack of council and social housing says GMB Young London

GMB Young London are holding a demonstration on Thursday 2nd July from 5.30pm outside the housing hustings for the Labour Mayoral candidates at University of Westminster, Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS. The aim is to draw attention to the need for political action on housing in London. The hustings get underway from 7pm.

Sam Gould, GMB Young London said “The is the latest GMB demo as part of the 'Howl for Housing' campaign.

Rents are out of control in London, young people can’t even dream of buying their own home and we have a severe lack of council and social housing. The housing crisis is real and requires real action.

GMB Congress in 2014 adopted a major programme for housing and we want to see labour candidates committing themselves to that. See notes to editors for main points in GMB policy on Housing in report adopted by Congress 2014.

We are demanding potential London Mayoral candidates take this crisis seriously and begin to offer some bold solutions.

We in London need many more council homes, a living rent and proper regulation of landlords. Candidates for London Mayor need to hear this and that’s why we are demonstrating outside the hustings.”


Notes to editors

Main points in GMB policy on Housing in report adopted by Congress 2014

Using expensive private sector landlords funded by taxpayers to provide houses for rent needs to be phased out.

The country needs a target for new build homes of 250,000 per year plus a minimum of 30,000 empty homes brought back into use. At least 80,000 of the target need to be in the social housing sector. This cannot be done without a major programme of council house building.

GMB Congress is calling for strategic changes in policy to deliver this ambitious target as follows:

  • All Housing Policy and resources for England focussed in one Whitehall Department
  • A long Term Plan to switch over 20 year Government support from Housing Benefit to New Build and improvement
  • Establishment of City Region level Housing Delivery Bodies with equivalent bodies in Devolved Administrations and for Rural Housing

GMB Congress also calls for action on specific policy areas as follows:

  • Halt the integration of Housing Benefit into Universal Credit
  • Integrate and Redirect Support Guarantee Schemes from Help to Buy to Help to Build
  • Fundamental Review of Social Housing ‘Affordable Rents’ Policy
  • Stalled Developments of over 6 months face sanctions or be transferred
  • Local Authority borrowing powers for housing to be redefined and the cap removed
  • Introduction of Housing Bonds for Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Developers of Affordable Homes
  • Start a Financial Conduct Authority Review of the Mortgage Market to achieve greater stability and equity
  • Start discussions with Pension Funds on commitments and regulation to direct capital into all forms of affordable housing
  • Start discussions with construction industry on shortages of finance, land and skilled labour and how to overcome them.
  • Compulsory Acquisition of Empty Homes
  • Regulation of Private Rented Sector
  • Changes to Planning Laws on land designation, mixed communities and social  housing
  • Legislative Basis for Housing Commissions at City Region level
  • Separation of Regulatory and Funding Roles of HCA and establishment of an Affordable Homes Commission
  • Improved Building Regulation on Housing Design
  • Legislative Basis for Rural Housing Commission
  • Affordable Homes Commission and Rental Market Regulator
  • Housing Bank
  • New Towns

An incoming Government will need to make affordable housing a central part of its economic and social strategy. Some of the strategic and institutional changes will take time to put into full effect but the intention needs to be clear from the start with an immediate emergency programme and legislative action from the first session of the new Parliament.”




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