The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has launched its General Election Wishlist for the housing market. IMLA is urging the next government to focus on fixing the challenges facing the housing market, leading with a call for a new dialogue with lenders, housebuilders and the regulator on a replacement for Help to Buy, which is due to expire in 2023.
Kate Davies, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, said:
“We’ve had 18 housing ministers in 20 years, but the structural challenges facing Britain’s housing market remain unsolved. Tackling the key issues around affordability and supply must remain a central part of the next government’s plan.
“IMLA is calling on the next Government to put real focus and resources into solving the issues plaguing our housing market. We need the Government to work with the industry to decide what happens after Help to Buy ends. We need to address the problems of affordability and supply. We need creative ways to get young people onto the ladder without being dependent on the Bank of Mum and Dad. We need to champion the crucial role the buy-to-let (private rental) sector plays in Britain’s housing market.”
IMLA’s General Election Wishlist – the key points:
- Affordability. IMLA wants to see a re-evaluation of the FPC’s stress-testing rules, as the current rate (SVR + 3%) is far above the rate most borrowers will realistically pay. This blocks people on lower incomes from getting on the housing ladder;
- Supply. More property is needed, with more discussion and consideration from Government about the types and designs of properties being built;
- Help to Buy. Phased out in 2021 and removed by 2023. IMLA wants more dialogue between industry and government on what replaces H2B;
- Shared Ownership. Expanding Shared Ownership could be part of the solution, but more work is needed on the government’s latest proposed changes to the scheme, particularly the practicality and cost-effectiveness of enabling consumers to staircase from as little as 1%. For shared ownership to work, eligible properties need to be built in significant volume as part of a clear, consistent process by developers;
- Stamp Duty. This tax needs to be reviewed across the whole range of property values. A revamped structure could reduce the barriers to moving without significantly impacting tax revenues;
- Buy-to-Let. IMLA argues against further government intervention in the sector. Buy-to-let needs breathing space and Britain needs a well-functioning private rental market;
- Mortgage Market Study. There is no need for large scale upheaval to try to help a small minority of borrowers;
- Mortgage prisoners. IMLA welcomes further investigation and support for affected borrowers but suggests not all are ‘trapped’. Of those who are, some will not be eligible for products with new lenders so the messages must be carefully managed so as not to raise expectations unduly;
- Protecting borrowers whose loans are sold to unregulated entities. IMLA supports the FCA’s regulatory reach being extended to give it power to require unregulated entities to comply with all of the appropriate regulations.
The view the full IMLA General Election Wishlist, click here.
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 40 banks, building societies and specialist lenders include 16 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and account for about 90% of mortgage lending (89.4% of balances and 90.6% of gross lending).