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Bob Hunt

May 15, 2014

Peter Williams is executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association

 

House building is finally moving in the right direction but whether it is doing so fast enough and with enough urgency remains to be seen.

We are battling against a deep deficit of new homes across the UK and a 31% annual rise in new starts still leaves us staring into the abyss of a severe supply problem as population pressures grow.

The lack of housing supply remains the overriding issue in the property market and its impact is changing the shape of housing tenure across the nation.

IMLA’s latest report shows the hefty growth of the private rented sector in recent years has been needed to cater for changes in society.

But the lack of new homes coming onto the market has put the squeeze on first time buyers and threatens to consign mass homeownership – and the UK as a predominantly home owning society – to the history books.

Housing is a leading contender to be the defining political theme of the next 12 months and growing pressure for a relaxation of planning restrictions to boost housing starts looks inevitable.

Without action, current trends will see more than half of UK households renting in the private or social rental sectors by 2032.

This is no time for short term measures to patch up homeownership: what’s needed urgently is a fully-formed cross party strategy to adequately serve owner-occupiers, tenants and landlords into the long term.


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