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UK housing supply described as ‘national disgrace’ PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 May 2015

In a panel debate at today’s Financial Services Expo (FSE) Manchester, the lack of new housing coming to market was described as “a national disgrace” and deep concerns were voiced about the ability of the Government and housebuilders to meet the required targets for new housing over the next five years.

Speaking on a wide range of issues, industry experts including Adrian Moloney of Nationwide, Steve Carruthers of Aldermore, Rob Jupp of Brightstar Financial, Martin Reynolds of Simplybiz, and Alan Cleary of Precise Mortgages, all felt that the lack of housing supply was the key problem the new Government needed to address.

Carruthers said: “The big challenge is supply; we need to see clearer drive from the Government.” While Jupp went further: “It’s a national disgrace that we have such a lack of new housing supply coming to market – it’s the number one priority. Demand is not a problem.”

Cleary suggested moving housing policy away from Government would help. “The words ‘strategy’ and ‘housing market’ shouldn’t go together in the same sentence. I would give housing policy to the Bank of England...it will be around for a long time, whereas politicians are only thinking about the next two to three years.”

Looking at 2015, most of the pundits suggested gross lending could potentially reach £210 billion if, as Cleary suggested, “there is a little bit of a kick at the end” of the year. They were also in agreement that the intermediary distribution share of the overall mortgage marketplace was likely to breach 70% although intermediaries should prepare themselves to face a fight from lenders to reclaim some of this share in the future.

The panel also agreed about the future direction of adviser procuration fees given that a number of lenders have increased their levels this year. Moloney said: “The market will drive where procuration fees go but I don’t see them being driven down.”

On the regulation of the buy-to-let sector, there was a suggestion that the new situation, with the regulation of consumer buy-to-let, was not the perfect solution. “We’ve ended up with the worst situation possible”, said Cleary. “I also think we’ve under-estimated just how big the consumer BTL market might be. We carried out a survey in 2012 of 2,000 customers and 40% fitted this description where they’d either inherited a property, divorced and rented out a property, or divorced, remarried and one partner was renting out their former home”

Reynolds believed that most advisers would pay the £350 regulatory fee in order to carry out consumer BTL business however wondered why advisers who were already conducting this business should they have to pay extra to continue to do so.

 

 
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