CML: lenders cannot be silver bullet

Nia Williams

September 8, 2011

“Lenders are not in a position to produce a ‘silver bullet’ solution to the problems of mortgage and housing markets but stand ready to work with the government on policy development and implementation,” the CML said in its latest News & Views.

The government is due to publish its housing strategy this autumn and the CML said it must acknowledge that homeownership is not realistic for everyone.

“Given that the rate of UK home-ownership has never exceeded 71%, it is difficult to see how realistically the aspirations of 80% or 85% of people to be owner-occupiers can ever be fulfilled,” it said.

The CML said the government’s goal should be to provide adequate choice for people in different circumstances and at different stages of life.

It also said the government should ensure “a good range of options for those for whom home-ownership may never be a realistic choice”.

It said: “We believe the fundamental priority should be to provide enough housing in the UK in an appropriate mix of tenures to meet the needs of the population.”

Last year the CML said 85% of respondents to its survey wanted to be owner-occupiers in 10 years’ time – the highest proportion ever recorded.

Its findings were echoed in a report on public attitudes to housing in England, published two months ago by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The DCLG report found that 86% would buy their home if they had a free choice. Only 14% would prefer to rent.

The CML added: “Lenders would support [government] measures to improve the supply of housing and improve the availability of funding, so that they can lend responsibly to borrowers who aspire to, and are able to sustain, home-ownership, as well as helping to finance the social and private rented sectors.”

It said a severe problem in the UK has been the shortage of housing and building appropriate accommodation should be a priority.

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