The Pensions ‘Feelgood Fortnight’ – Evidence of a Coming Buy to Let Boom and Bust and Financial Instability

What’s the point of boosting the house purchase market, when there’s already a well publicised shortage of said houses?
Worse still, the buy to let market nearly always targets the lower end of the market, because this is where those desperate for housing, are also the ones least able to afford to buy their own.
So there’s a double whammy in the wind here. Not only will an already under supplied market see a reduction in the available stock, those who are able to look to buy from this limited pool of housing, will quickly see prices increasing at a rate that pushes them out of the buyer market and back into the rental market.
Is this really what the government are aspiring to? A farcade of majority home ownership, that is in fact just hiding a massive private rental market, with all of its uncertainty and exploitation, becoming the order of the day?
Well, if you are only interested in the headline figures and the BS statistics so beloved of the political classes these days, then reducing the social housing numbers, by hiding it in the private sector, is probably a move straight out of the manual for political spin.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The flagship of the March 2014 Budget was the Pensions Reforms crafted by Liberal Pensions Minister Steve Webb and enthusiastically backed by the Chancellor.

Pensioners will soon be free to do what they like with their retirement savings after the chancellor promised to scrap compulsory annuities in a bombshell for the pensions industry. The move almost immediately wiped £5bn off the value of shares in the firms that provide annuities – and provoked fears of a fresh buy-to-let boom as pension pots are used to buy property as a retirement income.

Guardian 19/3/2014

The theory being that pensioners didn’t need to be nannied and could take what risks they wanted.

RBC Capital Markets warned:

“We expect the individual annuity market to shrink by 90 per cent . . . we forecast that only 10 per cent of customers will now buy an annuity.”

It was likley that the Chancellor was not unadverse to a…

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