“IMLA welcomes the government’s recent restatement of housing policy towards a more balanced approach to tenure. Policymakers have favoured home ownership over renting and the buy-to-let sector in recent years, which has risked deterring popular investment opportunities and damaging the capacity to grow private renting in response to market demand. With that in mind, it would be positive to see the Chancellor announce that the potentially damaging changes to tax relief will be delayed or reversed. While IMLA supports boosting home ownership to meet the very obvious unmet demand, the tools policymakers have so far used to try and achieve this have been overly focussed on constraining the rented sector.
“The lack of housing supply has been a major issue for some time, and IMLA hopes the Chancellor will announce significant measures to combat this in the Autumn Statement. While it is imperative that the government builds more homes, IMLA would also welcome a more innovative approach to overcoming the lack of supply. In order to boost homeownership, policymakers would be wise to examine how they might support both first-time buyers buying and older homeowners’ downsizing by boosting liquidity in the housing market through further adjustments to Stamp Duty. In short, it would be encouraging to see the government manage the housing crisis with a joined-up approach that takes the needs of the whole market into account.
“IMLA also hopes that the Chancellor addresses some of the challenges caused by ever growing regulation of the mortgage market. Mortgage lenders are absolutely committed to supporting an increase in housing supply and greater homeownership, but they are being confronted by multiple layers of regulation which hinder both innovation and responding to under-served market niches. IMLA and the industry would therefore welcome a fully independent review of market regulation and its effect on lending.
“Above all else, IMLA would welcome Philip Hammond outlining a sensible and flexible approach to housing policy in his debut Autumn Statement next month. It is imperative that policy is joined-up across different markets, and takes regional variations into account.”
For further information please contact:
Will Muir, Barney McCarthy – Instinctif Partners
Tel: 0207 427 1429 / 05
Notes to Editors
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 43 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).