Regulation had zero effect on UK housing, says Halifax

Regulation by the Financial Services Authority has produced zero contribution to a sustainable housing market, and if anything has worked against it, says Halifax.

Speaking in Monte Carlo, Alan Cleary director of Halifax Intermediaries, told delegates that individual government policies had only been successful if judged in their own terms.

Indeed, he says, only recently the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in its housing research paper 214, made the comment: “Most fundamentally the housing system as a whole has not become more robust, responsive and self sustaining.”

He went onto say that there have been too many undesirable and unintended consequences as a result of government policy which could be seen as an unsophisticated series of trade offs.

FSA mortgage regulation, he says, has made zero contribution to a sustainable housing market.

Worryingly, HBOS has also forecasted that there will only be 0.920 million property transactions this year the first time that the figure has fallen below the million mark “in a long time.”

But Cleary says: “We still believe that the possibility of a hard landing is remote. Yes its true that there are mixed signs but it looks likely that consumer confidence will recover rapidly.”