The Council of Mortgage Lenders has set out what actions policymakers must take to deliver a more efficient housing market, ahead of next year’s general election.
The trade body’s “election manifesto” covers homeownership, private renting and social renting from the viewpoint of different age groups.
It says the main issue affecting young homeowners and potential buyers is the high cost of housing. The CML says policymakers must address the housing shortages that have contributed to rapid price increases and reform the slab system for stamp duty.
Policymakers are also urged to promote better “pathways” between mainstream mortgages, lifetime mortgages and downsizing as older borrowers continue to struggle with the competing considerations of income, releasing housing wealth and paying for care in later life.
Finally, the trade body says borrowers continue to struggle to achieve homeownership and financial security, and those who manage to buy a home are increasingly finding it difficult to move up the property ladder.
To address this situation, the CML says policymakers must ensure regulatory changes do not unintentionally restrict mortgage accessibility for credit-worthy borrowers. Politicians must engage with industry members to develop a safety net against the risk of changes to household circumstances.
CML director general Paul Smee (pictured) says: “There are many things the mortgage industry can and will do to promote a healthy housing market but it is also crucial to have strategic public policy for housing that is clear, deliverable and long-term. We hope our thoughts will help stimulate political thinking about practical ways to deliver the right types of housing, supported by the necessary finance, in the right locations.”