Lenders slam lack of housing direction

Lenders slam lack of housing direction

Almost three-fifths of lenders believe that a seemingly endless stream of new housing ministers has damaged the mortgage and property markets.

A survey conducted by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) found that 59% felt that having had six housing ministers since 2010 has contributed to a lack of cohesive housing policy, which in turn has negatively impacted the markets.

Two-fifths (42%) of intermediaries echoed this sentiment.

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, said: “The government’s lack of clear, structured housing policy has been an elephant in the room for some time now.

“Successive administrations have made pledges and promises to change this, but it’s never been fully followed through with any real comprehensive long-term policy.

“Initiatives and schemes have stimulated bursts of activity and the mortgage market itself has adapted to evolving consumer needs over time, but until such fundamental issues as the continued under-supply of housing, the backlog of unmet demand and the role of different tenures are properly addressed, then the same issues will crop up time and again.”

In response to this issue, 59% of lenders and 48% of brokers suggested establishing an independent housing department.

Meanwhile, 52% of lenders believed that reinstating the role of housing minister to a cabinet-level position may help to solve the problem.

By contrast, just one-fifth of brokers favoured this solution.

Nevertheless, both lenders and brokers suggested that private housebuilding should be higher up on the agenda in the upcoming Autumn Statement.

Lenders also identified social housing and shared ownership as priorities, while brokers wished to see more focus on last-time buyers.

Peter added: “We would also like to see Philip Hammond delay or reverse the tax relief changes, which will impact on the rental market and the capacity of that sector to provide homes for those who can’t get into home ownership.”

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