Mortgages  

‘Too many people denied dream of owning a home’

Speaking after chancellor George Osborne defended the government’s flagship scheme, the principal of Middlesex-based Norwest Consultants argued that the increased controls which will be introduced through the MMR next April amounted to “political grandstanding” and would conflict with the Treasury’s proposals to expand the mortgage industry.

He said: “It’s absolute crackers, and straight out of the Gordon Brown book where people are encouraged to spend money they don’t have. It’s just now, that the debt will be picked up by the taxpayer.

“As is always the case, the regulator is only independent as long as it suits the government.”

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Speaking on Monday at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the chancellor said powers given to the Bank of England would halt any overheating of the property market.

The scheme’s implementation has been brought forward from January 2014 to next week. Mr Osborne claimed it would bring huge benefits to the wider economy, especially north of London, and that too many people were being denied the dream of owning their own home. The chancellor added: “We are the party of aspiration. The housebuilding party of Macmillan. The party of Thatcher’s Right to Buy, and now the party of David Cameron’s Help to Buy.

“We are the party of home ownership and we’re going to let the country know it. We are also going make sure no one is left behind as our economy recovers. Our goal is nothing short of a recovery for all.”

The Council for Mortgage Lenders did not comment.

Adviser view

Brian Murphy, head of lending for national mortgage intermediary Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The important thing is for consumers to get clear, consistent messages about the mortgage guarantees – how they work and where they are available. It would be in everyone’s best interests if the scheme was managed in a steady and sustainable way.”

Background

The Bank of England has revealed that mortgage approvals in the UK last month climbed to the highest level since February 2008 with a rise from 60,914 in July to 62,226 in August. Remortgage approvals rose to 36,225, the highest figure since February 2011.