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Government summit to tackle FTB plight

Sarah Davidson

February 15, 2011

Leading industry figures, including Michael Coogan, the CML director general, and Paul Broadhead, the BSA’s head of mortgage policy, will be debating how to step up efforts to help aspiring first time buyers get a foot on the ladder.

Key house builders, lenders, insurers, councils and consumer groups will also attend.

The summit will cover the key barriers and scale of the problems facing first time buyers.

It will debate how to improve the availability of mortgages, including devising new mortgage products that understand the challenges faced by first time buyers – such as innovative schemes for parents to support their children into home ownership – for example, the Lloyds Lend a Hand scheme or the Hitachi loan deal

New and creative local approaches to increasing shared ownership or equity loans are also on the agenda as well as the role mortgage insurance could take to support increased sustainable lending to first time buyers, as part of a longer term framework of regulation.

Grant Shapps said: “The greatest threat to the aspirations of first time buyers is the unprecedented national debt faced by the country ā€“ the Government has taken immediate steps to tackle that, so we avoid pulling up the housing ladder and cutting off a whole generation of young people who want to buy their own home.

“But we want to do more to help aspiring first time buyers – the average age of the first time buyer with no support from their family is now 37, and there are 1.4 million households who aspire to own a home but are simply unable to do so because of house prices and mortgage availability.

“So Iā€™m calling together key figures from across industry to discuss how we can tackle this problem. This cannot be achieved simply by top down diktats from Government ā€“ there will need to be a unified effort and creative solutions from across the board to make sure we do not lock young people out of the housing market.”

Coogan added: “It is good to see Ministers taking the initiative to discuss how we can look to improve market conditions for first-time buyers. But no-one will be surprised to learn that there is no simple quick fix for a market that has changed fundamentally since the credit crunch. Creative approaches have a role to play in helping to turn market stability into market recovery, and lenders look forward to working constructively both with government and the housebuilding industry as we look to help create the kind of conditions conducive to responsible innovation.”


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