A nation of rentiers

It is with some amazement that I discovered the BBC is still showing a large number of television programmes devoted to properties often about finding suitable properties or buying them at auction. I do not feel much sympathy for the buy-to-let landlords suffering from the credit crunch and financial crisis, especially those who invested in phantom houses.

However, these new rentiers may have the last laugh. The interest rate has come down so pressure on repayment has decreased, while the rent does not seem to have been depressed that much. As long as they have tenants in their properties and receive rent, they can repay their loans and wait until the prices recover. Negative equity is not much of a problem for those with income to keep repaying their mortgages.

Those who lose their homes in this recession are unlikely to be the buy-to-let landlords, but those who stretched to buy the only property they own and made their home. With more job losses expected, the current situation will get more desperate for many more. A nation of rentiers will arise from the ashes of this recession. Oh dear.