The credit crunch doesn't seem to have hit the buy-to-let market. During the 12 months up to June, the number of BTL mortgages increased by 176,500. That is almost 15,000 a month.
The numbers are also impressive in terms of gross lending. Again, in the 12 months up to June, lenders poured ₤26 billion into the buy-to-let market. Between Christmas and June this year, the stock of loans went up ₤12 billion.
The BTL speculative craze now accounts for 11.5 percent of all outstanding mortgage lending. In fact, banks give more credit to BTL borrowers than first time buyers.
This week, Darling will launch another poorly conceived attempt to save the housing market. However, who will really benefit from government guarantees aimed at increasing mortgage lending? It won't be first time buyers, who are effectively priced out of the market, and who would welcome a significant correction to house prices. It will be speculators and property developers.
This is exactly what New Labour are about; while purporting to help the poor, they actually sustain inequality, self-aggrandizement and speculation. The next election can not come a day too soon.