From 1st July the Council of Mortgage Lenders is integrated into a new trade association, UK Finance. For the time being, all UKF mortgage information will continue to be published on this website, and UKF member-only mortgage information will only be available here.

UK Finance represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation takes on most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association. Please go to www.ukfinance.org.uk for wider content and updates from UK Finance.

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PRA proposes affordability tests for BTL as stamp duty surcharge kicks in

Week in Westminster

Published: 1 April 2016 | Author: Michelle Vosper

The buy-to-let market has been in the spotlight this week. The new stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties and second homes comes into force today (1 April). While the Prudential Regulation Authority published proposals for consultation to introduce minimum standards for lenders underwriting buy-to-let mortgage contracts.

BIS launched a consultation on moving Land Registry operations into the private sector. The preferred model being proposed is a privatisation of Land Registry consisting of a contract between government and a private operator, with all the core functions transferred out of the public sector, but with key safeguards for Land Registry customers and government being maintained.

Meanwhile the Law Commission is consulting on the legal framework that governs the registration of land in England and Wales to consider whether there are opportunities for the system to be clarified and updated.

The “housing question” was the subject of a newly published report by the think tank Civitas. The report asserts that it is unrealistic to expect the market alone to provide all of the homes we need. The homes not built in by private sector need to be provided by the public sector, requiring significant public funds and direct commissioning of house building by the state, whether that be by central government, regional bodies or councils. Combined with this, Civitas says that the amount of land made available for development needs to be significantly increased, and we need to ensure developers build it out at the rate that homes are needed, rather than the rate at which the highest returns can be obtained.