Ryan Bembridge

November 10, 2016

IMLA members have slammed the government’s revolving door around the post of Housing Minister.

When Gavin Barwell was named as the new Housing Minister in July he became the sixth MP to hold the role since 2010, following in the footsteps of John Healey, Grant Shapps, Mark Prisk, Kris Hopkins and most recently Brandon Lewis.

IMLA’s H2 2016 Member Survey found that three in five (59%) lenders think the flux has adversely affected the mortgage and property markets, while two in five (42%) intermediaries agree.

Most lenders (59%) and half of brokers (48%) reckon the answer is to have independent less-political housing department.

And with the role of Housing Minister being downgraded from the Cabinet since 2010 half of lenders (52%) think reinstating it would help.

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, said: “The government’s lack of clear, structured housing policy has been an elephant in the room for some time now.

“Successive administrations have made pledges and promises to change this, but it’s never been fully followed through with any real comprehensive long-term policy.

“Initiatives and schemes have stimulated bursts of activity and the mortgage market itself has adapted to evolving consumer needs over time, but until such fundamental issues as the continued under-supply of housing, the backlog of unmet demand and the role of different tenures are properly addressed then the same issues will crop up time and again.”

“Responsibility doesn’t just lie with the Housing Minister though, and it would be good to see the Chancellor address the housing supply issue further in his forthcoming Autumn Statement.”

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