View more on these topics

Peter Williams: Govt must ensure there are enough rental properties


To boost homeownership the Government must ensure there are homes to rent at levels that allow people to save

Around this time last year we set out key agendas that we thought political parties should address in their general election campaigns. These included the desperate need for a clearer, over-arching housing policy and the doubling of supply to 240,000 houses a year by 2020.

A year later our concerns remain the same but have been substantiated by further evidence that the current housing policy is not having the impact the Government intended.

According to our latest research, mortgage affordability has hit its best level ever and first-time buyer repayments are lower than average rents in every region of Britain. However, we are simply not seeing any strong recovery in the level of homeownership.

Part of the explanation is a change in behaviour, with some younger households preferring the flexibility offered by renting. Alongside this is more tightly controlled access to mortgages, reflecting the rise in shorter job contracts and the absence of guaranteed long-term employment in a single organisation.

Then there is the wider context around improved affordability. House prices have risen substantially and many find it difficult to bridge the deposit gap given closer scrutiny of incomes and the application of stress tests. It is no surprise that first-time buyers are wrestling with putting down that 5 per cent deposit even at better loan-to-value rates.

Tightening the noose around a shrinking social sector and the private rental market will not solve these cost conundrums.

The Government needs to recognise that to achieve its ambition to boost homeownership it must ensure there are homes to rent at levels that allow households to save. It must rethink its housing policy and redouble efforts to expedite housing supply across all tenures.

Peter Williams is executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association



Openwork eyes £10bn lending in 2016

Openwork is targeting £10bn of mortgage lending in 2016 after its lending rose 23 per cent to £9.1bn in 2015. The network says it will meet its target through organic growth and through business coming from Just Mortgages, which is joining the network from L&G next month. Just Mortgages, the financial advisory business of Spicerhaart, […]


Metro Bank floats on stock exchange

Metro Bank launched on the London Stock Exchange yesterday, achieving a valuation of £1.6bn. Metro joins five other challenger banks that have listed in London since 2014. There are currently 53 banks listed on the stock exchange, with a combined market capitalisation of close to £672bn. LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet says: “Welcoming Metro Bank […]

MS quarterly lender survey: has anyone found the right mix of rates and service?

In Mortgage Strategy’s first quarterly lender survey of 2016, has anybody achieved the perfect combination of good rates and excellent service that is the key to all brokers’ hearts? THE PANEL: Simon Collins, Products technical manager, John Charcol David Hollingworth, Associate director of communications, London & Country Gemma Harle, Managing director, TenetLime Richard Merrett, Technical director, Alexander Hall Aaron Strutt, Product and communications manager, Trinity Financial Bob Riach, Mortgage broker, Riach […]


Openwork names new chief operating officer

Openwork has named Neil Milner as its new chief operating officer. Milner joins from car and cycling retailer Halfords, where he served as head of programmes, according to Mortgage Strategy‘s sister title Money Marketing. He has also held roles at the National Trust and Travelodge Hotels. Milner’s new role will see him take on responsibility […]


Guide: what you need to consider for your auto-enrolment project

In this guide, Johnson Fleming reveals what items you need to understand to gauge the impact of auto-enrolment on your business. The guide focuses on: the impact that your auto-enrolment scheme will have on you; assessing your workforce; understanding your staging date; reviewing your current provision; and modelling contribution levels and costs.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up