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Your Views

Will the Autumn Statement give us a housing policy that is worth having?

Lenders and brokers alike have been expressing their frustration at the lack of direction in government housing policy…

The lack of a clear, structured housing policy has been an elephant in the room for some time. Successive administrations have made pledges to change this but it’s never been followed through with any comprehensive long-term policy.

Initiatives and schemes have stimulated bursts of activity and the mortgage market itself has adapted to evolving consumer needs. However, until such fundamental issues as the continued under-supply of housing, the backlog of unmet demand and the role of different tenures are properly addressed, the same issues will crop up time and again.

Responsibility doesn’t lie just with the housing minister, though, and it would be good to see the chancellor address the housing supply issue further in his forthcoming Autumn Statement. We would also like him to delay or reverse the tax relief changes, which will impact on the rental market and the capacity of that sector to provide homes for those who can’t get into homeownership. However, our member survey shows lenders aren’t too optimistic that this will happen.

Increased regulation since the financial crisis has been a necessary step to keep the mortgage market on an even keel. We have come a long way in the 12 years since formal regulation was introduced but the process of bringing in more controls continues. It is time to draw this to a close and ask whether regulation has become overbearing and is starting to stifle innovation.

The FCA’s upcoming competition review provides an appropriate opportunity for reflection.

Peter Williams, Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association

Plan for DA club blurs the line between clubs and networks

Readers have been sharing their views on London Money director Martin Stewart’s plan to launch a not-for-profit mortgage club…

There is a fine line between mortgage clubs and mortgage networks and I feel it is getting confused here.

My reading of the plan is for a DA club to be created purely to enable mortgage business to be transacted at better proc fee and deal rates than currently available to each DA on their own.

The ‘share of proc fee’ argument seems to be levelled at the network model rather than the club model and, speaking as a network member, I have to say the choice is not based solely around monthly costs or shares of fees.

There is a much bigger programme of benefits within the network model than in the DA model – but that’s just my view.

Chris Hulme, Clayton Hulme

Hammond won’t rethink taxation for landlords clinging to lower profits

The National Landlords Association has launched a postcard campaign in its ongoing drive to get the chancellor to reverse tax changes on buy-to-let properties. But not everyone is supportive…

Tax is only on profits so this idea that rents have to rise is not to cover the tax increases but rather to preserve landlord profits.

It’s getting colder but Hell will freeze over before a chancellor rethinks taxation because one small group is gripping incoherently to diminishing profits. This was the reason for the tax change in the first place.

Steven Balmer, Mortgage & Insurance Centre

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