CML host annual Welsh lunch

CML Cymru chairman, Peter Hughes of Principality Building Society, spoke of the positive market in the last 12 months but warned against complacency in an environment of interest rate rises in the future.

Hughes said: "In only a year, the change in the market seems almost seismic and the industry can now look forward with optimism; lending is up and encouragingly arrears cases continue to be at consistently low levels.

“But continued political, economic and procedural challenges remain and moving into an environment of interest rate rises means there is no time for complacency.

"Lenders have continued to work closely with the Welsh government. Last year, Help to Buy Cymru was a case in point - there was a mutual determination to get it over the line and feedback has been universally positive.

“The CML will continue to improve these lines of communication so that collaborative work continues positively in the future."

And Noakes of Lloyds Banking Group spoke on the impact of MMR and the increased political spotlight running up to the election.

He said: "We have seen greater lending the past 12 months as demand for both house purchase and remortgaging has increased, but the market is not overheating.

“The introduction of the Help to Buy Wales Equity Loan scheme has been a welcome stimulus for the Welsh market, but the Help to Buy schemes overall, despite much media interest, remain a small part of overall transactions.

“London may continue to distort the UK outlook but greater economic confidence and an improving house-building market are grounds for optimism."

"In the year ahead, the industry will digest the full effects of MMR and it is not anticipated that there will be prolonged disruption at this stage.

“Lenders should, however, be mindful that with the general election approaching housing will likely take center stage so any unintended consequences of MMR may be magnified.

“The CML will engage with the FCA and lenders so that these are managed correctly and swiftly."