Bob Hunt

January 21, 2014

Peter Williams is executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association


Lending figures published this morning confirm that last year ended on a high note, with the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase continuing to rise and the highest December gross mortgage lending figure for six years.

The mortgage market has been able to flourish against a brighter economic landscape and boosted by support from government. Market conditions and consumer sentiment are noticeably improved and efforts must now focus on ensuring this shift becomes permanent.

 However, we cannot rest on our laurels so long as the market is still receiving outside assistance. Help to Buy has become a significant factor in steering growth by stimulating certain areas, particularly first time buyers. We are all curious to see what will happen when the scheme comes to an end – and in fact, how the government intends to do this.

Until then we are still looking at a distorted market, with more fuel being pumped into certain areas than others. We will only be able to achieve sustainable growth once this external support has been withdrawn. The incoming Mortgage Market Review has set out new regulatory boundaries, but we need to ensure this does not hamper the growth trend and push the dreams of homeownership out of reach once again.

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