IMLA comments on today's DCLG house building figures and the implications for homeownership

15 May 2014

Peter Williams, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), comments

“House building is finally moving in the right direction but whether it is doing so fast enough and with enough urgency remains to be seen. We are battling against a deep deficit of new homes across the UK and a 31% annual rise in new starts still leaves us staring into the abyss of a severe supply problem as population pressures grow.

“The lack of housing supply remains the overriding issue in the property market and its impact is changing the shape of housing tenure across the nation. IMLA’s latest report shows the hefty growth of the private rented sector in recent years has been needed to cater for changes in society*. But the lack of new homes coming onto the market has put the squeeze on first time buyers and threatens to consign mass homeownership – and the UK as a predominantly home owning society – to the history books.

“Housing is a leading contender to be the defining political theme of the next 12 months and growing pressure for a relaxation of planning restrictions to boost housing starts looks inevitable. Without action, current trends will see more than half of UK households renting in the private or social rental sectors by 2032. This is no time for short term measures to patch up homeownership: what’s needed urgently is a fully-formed cross party strategy to adequately serve owner-occupiers, tenants and landlords into the long term.”

*IMLA’s report Reshaping housing tenure in the UK — the role of buy to let is published today and shows:

  • over half of UK homes will be rented by 2032 for the first time since the 1970s if current housing trends go unchecked, with the private rented sector on course to double in size
  • buy to let mortgages have financed less than a third of new rented homes since 2007
  • the failure to build enough houses chiefly to blame for first time buyer frustrations
  • financial regulations such as limits on interest-only mortgages adding to the obstacles facing would-be homeowners.

To request a copy, please email

For further information please contact:
Andy Lane / Ludo Baynham-Herd, The Wriglesworth Consultancy
Tel: 0207 427 1422 / 29 / Email:

Notes to Editors

About IMLA

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) is the trade association that represents mortgage lenders who lend to UK consumers and businesses via the broker channel. Its membership of 52 banks, building societies and specialist lenders include 18 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and account for about 90% of mortgage lending (91.6% of balances and 92.8% of gross lending).

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