During a panel debate at yesterday's Financial Services Expo in Manchester Adrian Moloney of Nationwide, Steve Carruthers of Aldermore, Rob Jupp of Brightstar Financial, Martin Reynolds of Simplybiz and Alan Cleary of Precise Mortgages, called on the government to address the lack of housing supply urgently.
Carruthers said: “The big challenge is supply; we need to see clearer drive from the government.”
Jupp went further: “It’s a national disgrace that we have such a lack of new housing supply coming to market – it’s the number one priority. Demand is not a problem.”
Cleary suggested moving housing policy away from government would help.
He said: “The words strategy and housing market shouldn’t go together in the same sentence. I would give housing policy to the Bank of England...it needs to be long term, whereas politicians are only thinking about the next two to three years.”
The panel agreed gross lending could potentially reach £210bn if, as Cleary suggested, “there is a little bit of a kick at the end” of the year.
They were also in agreement that the intermediary distribution share of the overall mortgage marketplace was likely to breach 70% although intermediaries should prepare themselves to face a fight from lenders to reclaim some of this share in the future.
The panel also agreed about the future direction of adviser procuration fees given that a number of lenders have increased their levels this year.
Moloney said: “The market will drive where procuration fees go but I don’t see them being driven down.”
On the regulation of the buy-to-let sector, there was a suggestion that the new situation, with the regulation of consumer buy-to-let, was not the perfect solution.
“We’ve ended up with the worst situation possible”, said Cleary. “I also think we’ve under-estimated just how big the consumer buy-to-let market might be. We carried out a survey in 2012 of 2,000 customers and 40% fitted this description where they’d either inherited a property, divorced and rented out a property, or divorced, remarried and one partner was renting out their former home.”
Reynolds believed that most advisers would pay the £350 regulatory fee in order to carry out consumer buy-to-let business however wondered why advisers who were already conducting this business should have to pay extra to continue to do so.