IMLA comments on the ONS House Price Index and Right to Buy

14 April 2015

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

“Slowing house price inflation in today’s ONS data for February suggests that actions taken by the Financial Policy Committee to dampen the growth of last year have done their job and put the housing market on a more stable footing for the short term at least.

“Seeing annual price rises dip below an annual increase of 6% outside London and the South East is a step in the right direction to improve affordability. However, in part the slowdown has only been possible by squeezing potential buyers out of the market by restricting access to finance, creating some extra breathing space for politicians to get to grips with the fundamental supply/demand imbalance.

“The Conservative pledge to extend the Right to Buy scheme is a quick win to help boost a flagging home ownership sector and stimulate turnover in a market where transaction levels are now three times slower than it was in the 1980s*. However, it carries no guarantee of greater house building as a result. The danger is that it will weaken the future capacity of the social renting sector to provide a safety net for those who cannot afford to house themselves via the private market.

“The risk is that in this manifesto along with others we will get more short term initiatives and that politicians will continue to avoid owning up to the need for a fully formed housing strategy that balances support for people across all forms of housing tenure. Delaying the inevitable will only result in more difficulties in the long term.”

*IMLA, The new ‘normal’ — one year on , April 2015

For further information please contact:
Andy Lane / Will Muir, 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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