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Shapps calls for more FTB support ahead of summit

Housing minister Grant Shapps says more can be done to help first-time buyers ahead of a summit next week.


Shapps is chairing a meeting with the Financial Services Authority, Council of Mortgage Lenders and representatives from major banks on February 15.

The meeting will focus on ways in which the industry can help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 Shapps says house prices need to become closer to the average income but this must happen in the long-term.

But he says: “There are short-term measures which we would like to see. These include the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers buying up to £250,000.

“And next week I am calling a summit to put heads together within the industry to find out what else can be done. One simple thing is that we know as a fact that it is very difficult to get a mortgage even when you have quite a large deposit and that is obviously something that we want to drill down on.”

Shapps also repeated his criticism of mortgage regulation saying he does not want to see “down in the dirt” regulation of individuals.

He says: “There are some concerns about the FSA’s Mortgage Market Review and I’m keeping a very close eye on the recommendations that come out of that.

“What we don’t need is the individual down-in-the-dirt regulation over innovations that can take place in mortgage market products. That should be for the innovators at mortgage companies to work out and what I want to see them do is come together to develop products that will help in the short-term.”

But he says there needs to be top-level regulation to ensure the stability of the industry and prevent lending getting out of hand.

Shapps also echoes Prime Minister David Cameron’s criticism of lenders by claiming the pendulum has swung too far the other way from “crazy” lending previously.

He says: “Now we’ve gone too far the other way meaning it is very hard to get a mortgage even when you have a 20% deposit.”


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  • Bob the Builder 8th February 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Shapps ought to try abandoning his nimby-friendly planning policies soo some new houses can be built not blaming the regulation of mortgage lending which is irrelevant whilst house prices are still far too high.
    Cameron has just asked Oliver Letwin to review Shapps’ housing policy so with any luck we’l be seeing the back of him and his madness soon

  • DaveTheRave 7th February 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks that this man looks like Robert Webb (of Mitchell and Webb fame)?

    He is just as funny and I really like his jokes and humour. Unlike Robert Webb, he is going to make a lot of us less than ecstatic with his attempt to pump the bubble back up irresponsible first-time buyer mortgage lending.

    The moment that the banks wake up to the fact that houses may go down as well as up (past performance is no indicator of future behaviour), they are criticised for not recklessly lending against falling assets. The only real way to help is to let the prices to realistic levels, then transactions will return and everyone can get on with life as normal, moving every five years and paying lots of stamp duty.

    Why do the government think that it is good for the economy (apart from the banks) to have such huge amounts locked up in housing and not being spent on the high-street? What exactly is the agenda here in keeping prices inflated?

  • Ricky 7th February 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Shapps, Cameron, Mudie, Oakeshott are weasels insincerely professing concern for First Time Buyers. Where was there concern when prices were rocketing for the last ten years. This is just a cynical attempt by Shapps and his VI cronies to kill off a sensible piece of legislation by the FSA. They know it will help further deflate the housing bubble which will benefit FTBs. However it will harm the many leeches (including the myriad of MPs with two or more homes) who feed off our bloated housing market. Shapps come clean about your true intentions and save your crocodile tears for the Oscar ceremonies.

  • Fedup 7th February 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Rather than create more shared equity schemes, and other “innovative” ways to make young people take on more debt to bail out the feckless, I would rather see houseprices fall to within 3-3.5x the average salary. This would mean that the ability to buy one’s home would be based on salary and achievement in the world of work, rather than when one become of age to buy a home.

  • RobbieBoy 7th February 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Utter prat.

    Check out who’s lining Shapps’ pockets, at , and then work out why he’s so keen on keeping the housing bubble inflated.

    Charcol? NHBC? Developers? Another failed peddler of liar loans?

    Read the roll of shame and weep, that this man is in a position of trust over the housing market.

    Either resist the siren charms of your wealthy VI “friends,” or go now and let someone with integrity take over.


  • Tom K 7th February 2011 at 8:48 pm

    More muppetry from Shappsy. FTB need encouragement to enter a falling market like they need a hole in the head. What planet is this guy on?

  • Beny 7th February 2011 at 7:25 pm

    FTB’er | 7 Feb 2011 4:33 pm

    Shapps has no interest in your plight as a FTB…only to gain your vote with some political spin. Shapps’ goal is to keep the status quo; keep prices high and restart ‘reckless lending’

  • Blink Too Fast 7th February 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Grant, please do not “help” FTBs by giving them boosts or incentives. It just pushes debt on them, supports high house prices, and kicks the can down the road regarding the current housing problems.
    Let prices fall, FTBs will be able to buy a house, the market will increase in volume, and the economy can get on with growing again.

  • chris gardner 7th February 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Ownership is not an entitlement. Prices for typical FTB properties have fallen but have now stabilised. depending where you live you can buy for 3 times income.

  • Mike 7th February 2011 at 5:19 pm

    House prices need to be allowed to fall fast. Propping them up is the worst thing that you can do for FTB’s. No more schemes please just normal interest rates and house prices back to a sensible multiplier fast!

  • Woodygood 7th February 2011 at 5:15 pm

    They just don’t get it!!! House prices are overpriced……that’s what’s stopping me from buying. Let them fall in the short term not long term. The market is being propped up by those with an interest in the prices staying high. I want honest people in charge of our country not those who are interested in themselves. Interest rates are artificially low RAISE THEM now!!

  • Charlie 7th February 2011 at 5:01 pm

    House prices are too high compared to salary but that doesn’t matter. All we need are some shared equity scams, sorry schemes.

  • monty88 7th February 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Great just what we need … incentives to sucker in first time buyers at what is still close to the top of the biggest property bubble in UK history. What a moron this man Shapps is.

  • Fitzbadly 7th February 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Granty mate, lenders aren’t lending because they’ve finally sobered up and realised they have created a god-awful bubble and no-one apart from the super rich can afford a house now. want to help FTBs REALLY want to help them? then let prices fall down to a sane level – rather than making another generation debt slaves to a state sponsored strategy of absurd housing costs

  • mat 7th February 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Its not that mortgages are to hard to get it’s more house prices are to high to me to even think about getting one. This has lead me to think about leaving this country and moving abroad, so i can afford a house with my level of pay. Iam happy to leave in 2 more years once i extract the level of experience to enable me to walk into a job abroad.

  • FTB'er 7th February 2011 at 4:33 pm

    God Bless you Grant. Keep it up my friend. Please.
    We’ve already been forced to waste tens of thousands in rent, and had our ‘hard earned’ stolen to bail out the banks.
    Which basically means being forced to pay to keep everyone else’s house massively overinflated.
    Yet, if an MP is capable of showing just some commone honest decency, who knows?!
    We may even have a chance at some sort of life after all.

    Instead of being a debt slave/

    [Thing is, the faster a housing crash occurs the better for the House building industry as well]