CML publishes "manifesto" for the housing market
Published: 9 September 2014 | Author: Bernard Clarke
With housing certain to be a key topic for all the main political parties in next year’s general election, the CML has published its own "manifesto" entitled A housing market to be proud of.
The manifesto sets out a series of actions for politicians to deliver the right kind of housing policies for the future. It looks at housing across all tenures – owner-occupation, private renting and the social sector – and focuses on the needs of people at different stages of life.
For the young, the over-riding issue is the cost of housing. For this group, the manifesto urges the next government to:
- Focus on measures to increase the supply of housing in all tenures, enabling more young people to get a home.
- Reform stamp duty to reduce its burden, the way it distorts the market and other unintended consequences.
- Recognise that, for an increasing number, shared equity and shared ownership are likely to become permanent tenures, rather than how they are typically viewed now – as a stepping stone to full ownership.
For the elderly, many of the issues revolve around the competing requirements of income, the need to release equity and meeting the different needs for care and housing in old age. For this group, the manifesto wants the next government to:
- Address the regulatory hurdles affecting lending into retirement.
- Make it easier for people to choose between the mainstream mortgage market, lifetime mortgages and downsizing.
- Make sure that new housing supply reflects the needs and aspirations of an ageing population.
And for in-betweeners, the CML wants politicians to address the mounting difficulties of achieving home-ownership and financial security, and moving up the housing ladder. For this group, the manifesto urges the government to:
- Reform stamp duty to reduce the affordability barriers created by transaction costs.
- Address unintended consequences of regulation for creditworthy borrowers.
- Work with lenders to develop more effective protection against potential disruption caused by a change in household circumstances.
- Ensure that policies affecting all tenures (such as welfare reform) are integrated, and aligned with private sector provision.
The CML also urges the next government to recognise that "the UK housing market" is really a series of local and regional markets, but that most finance is provided by lenders operating nationally and requiring standardised operating frameworks. The manifesto argues that both localism and European regulation should promote, rather than obstruct, the effective delivery of housing and housing finance. More broadly, regulation needs to be aligned with government policy and support the long-term health of the economy.
The lending industry accepts that there are many things it can do to help promote a healthy housing market, but believes that the government also needs to develop and deliver a clear, long-term policy approach.
The CML’s manifesto is intended to stimulate political thinking about practical ways of delivering the right types of housing in the right locations, supported by the necessary finance. Developing the right policy approach can help deliver sustainable and permanent solutions to the acute problems of housing supply and affordability.