Osborne says likely to give BoE powers over buy-to-let, possibly this year

The logo is seen at the Bank of England in the City of London January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne said on Thursday the government was highly likely to give the Bank of England powers to regulate mortgages used by landlords to buy homes, possibly later this year.

The BoE has said growth in the buy-to-let mortgage market poses a potential risk to financial stability but it wants to assess the impact of tax changes on the sector before taking any action. An increase in transaction taxes on rental investments comes into force in April.

Reporting by David Milliken; Writing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by William Schomberg