CML manifesto urges next gov’t to boost housing supply

CML manifesto urges next gov’t to boost housing supply

The chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders has called for drastic moves from the next government to boost the UK housing supply.

Moray McDonald of the Royal Bank of Scotland told the industry body’s yearly lunch that supply should be the main priority of housing policy.

He said: “Dealing with the supply side, in my view, has to be our next north star, which everyone aims for.

Article continues after advert

“To get there, we need a housing strategy that commands all-party support ,with a three-line whip from national government down to the parish council to ensure it is implemented.

“That strategy should come from us, the industry, in partnership with government. Fix this and the market itself will address affordability.”

Dame Kate Barker is best-known for her 2004 Review of Housing Supply report, Delivering Stability: Securing our Future Housing Needs. She said: “The costs of new supply remain largely local and are perceived as large, whereas the benefits are small in the short term, and geographically dispersed.”

In its 14-page manifesto of demands for the 2015 general election, the CML warned that governments would also need to make effective use of the existing housing stock. The document said: “A first requirement is more supply of new homes. Our house building programme needs to be ambitious, consistently delivering between 200,000 and 250,000 new homes each year for the next 10 to 15 years.”

The manifesto noted that after five years of flat housing markets, low transaction levels and concerns over the availability of mortgage finance, 2013 had seen a marked recovery with more than one million home purchases.

According to the CML, total lending reached £176bn, with this expected to have hit £210bn in 2014.

But the body argued that while worries over mortgage finance had abated, house price inflation had become a greater concern, particularly in London and the south-east.

CML manifesto: Key demands for the next government

Recognise that the housing market is a whole set of local markets, but that most finance is provided by national lenders who need standard operating frameworks

Ensure that neither localism nor European regulation hinder the effective delivery of housing and housing finance

Promote the supply of the right types of housing in the right locations

Adviser view

Paul Dorward, mortgage adviser for Yorkshire-based PAD Financial, said: “One way to reduce local opposition to house building could be to focus on what kind of properties people want in different areas, rather than what is most profitable for the builders.”