Industry figures have mixed opinions over the Financial Services Authority's review into mortgage lending released on Monday. As they finish wading through the 118-page report (and don't be fooled that the length of the report means everything is clarified, this is only a consultation paper after all), they are starting to respond with a range of views.
Key to the paper is the intention to regulate buy-to-let mortgages. This is widely being attacked as a catalyst for the property market crash, and action must be seen to be taken against the sector, which has already taken a real hammering of Mafia proportions.
Several industry bodies have accused the FSA of "playing to the gallery" and being too willing to forget their own mistakes as the regulator in this banking crash. But overlooking the playground name-calling, there is great diversity of opinions over the issue of buy to let
The National Landlords Association is hedging its bets, saying that the "devil will be in all the detail", and accusing the FSA of talking "rhetoric about reckless lending"
However, the British Property Federation doesn't see eye to eye with the NLA yet again, and Liz Peace says the complete opposite: that it is "great" that the FSA has finally "woken up" to the need for buy-to-let regulation.
As ever, the terms "landlord" and "buy to let" covers all manner of sins, from the amateur buy to let investor with one other property, to the likes of Grainger, Dorrington, Unite and other institutions. Increased regulation is probably more necessary for the smaller players than the big listed companies, and the last thing the industry needs in these troubled times is to implement moves which make expansion and bringing in new homes even more difficult.
Once again, the debate leads full circle to the need for a properly implemented, regulated and organised private rented sector. Keen investors tell me they have had little dialogue with the HCA after submitting their bids for the PRSI , and several institutions are now understood to be thinking twice about jumping into the rented sector. The landlord community should not hold their breath.