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By Kevin White | Published Jul 31, 2012

Do more to let us lend more, Ami tells gov’t

The trade body’s latest quarterly economic bulletin, which focuses on the UK economy, housing and mortgage market, found that the supply of homes for sale was rising, keeping house prices flat.

However, the Ami said the economic outlook continued to look uncertain with falling GDP still of concern.

The Ami said more capital spending wasrequired, while gross lending is expected to fall in the second half of 2012, despite a promised £80bn funding initiative from the government.

Despite the positive numbers on gross lending for the first six months of the year, up 6.8 per cent, this is unlikely to be sustained in the second half so Ami is erring to the lower end of its £130bn to £140bn forecast.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI said: “Improving unemployment figures and a strengthening balance of trade indicates a healthier economy than the GDP figures and most commentators will acknowledge.

“There is a need however for more government spending on capital projects such as the Midland Mainline electrification and the incentives for new-build properties to promote growth.”

He said the significant cash piles accrued by UK industry (£745bn) could be invested, but with continuing uncertainty in the eurozone this looks unlikely in the near term.

The study pointed to research from Barclays, which indicated that owning a home rather than renting will save £194,000 over a 50 year period.

Mr Sinclair said: “This shows why the housing ladder is still attractive. Being credit-worthy and gathering a deposit given current rental levels is the big challenge.

“However with competitive products still coming to the market place, an appetite to lend is still there from many lenders.

“All markets remain challenging, with new buyer registrations slipping back with many agents blaming a lack of quality properties on their books.”

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