Mortgage regulation won’t solve housing market issues

It said thay while no one was advocating a return to the irresponsible lending levels of yesteryear, imposing prescriptive inflexible constraints on lenders that took no account of personal circumstances or risk could not be used as a tool to control the inflationary consequences of restrictions on land supply – the major risk to future housing supply and thus prices.

With the latest household projection figures showing that even more homes were going to be needed in the future than was estimated when the Government set its challenging target of three million new homes by 2020, addressing the key issue of where the land was going to come from on which to build these homes was critical.

Without the land, a huge shortfall was inevitable, the HBF said, which in itself would generate a price boom and the associated social issues as people without significant capital were thwarted from meeting their ambitions.

HBF Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said: "If the FSA and Government go down the route of mortgage control to try to head off future asset bubbles they are likely to entrench and worsen future housing under-supply that is rooted in the constraint of land supply.

"House price booms are caused by an imbalance between supply and demand and the long-term solution to escalating prices is to ensure there are enough homes to meet demand – not to impose regulation that takes no account of personal circumstance or risk that could discriminate against people perfectly able to realise their ambitions of home ownership.

"We are cleaning the car window when the petrol tank has a hole in it."

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