IMLA backs BSA’s calls for housing policy reform

22 April 2024

  • The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders’ Association (IMLA) fully supports the Building Societies Association (BSA) in its calls for Government reforms to assist first-time buyers and address the UK’s housing crisis
  • New support schemes must be backed by a genuine commitment to increase housing supply across all types of tenure, to avoid overinflating property prices for future homebuyers
  • IMLA believes buy-to-let landlords also need encouragement from Government to ensure the sustainability of the Private Rented Sector.

With the cost-of-living crisis and record high rents making it harder than ever for first-time buyers to save required deposits, and higher interest rates curbing mortgage affordability, the number of people owning their own home in the UK has been in steady decline for some years.

Owner occupation is desirable for the security of tenure it provides to individuals and families not just now but in the future, with worries escalating over how the growing cohort of older renters will afford housing post-retirement.

IMLA is backing the BSA’s calls for the Government to implement an independent review of the first-time buyer sector, to assess how policy and regulatory changes could help more buyers into homeownership. Solutions may include a revival of some sort of Government scheme to support aspiring homeowners, possibly along the lines of the now defunct Help to Buy scheme (used by more than 380,000 homebuyers over the 10 years to 2023), an extension to the Lifetime ISA criteria or new Stamp Duty concessions for first-time buyers, for example.

Kate Davies, Executive Director of IMLA, said:

“We welcome the BSA’s timely report on the challenges facing first-time buyers and their recommendations for a Government review of the market, regulation and housing policy.

“The UK is an advanced economy which is home to one of the most diverse, competitive and innovative mortgage industries in the world. And yet we are in the midst of a housing crisis, with fewer affording to buy a home, and more renters struggling to secure accommodation.

“There is a viable argument for Government-backed first-time buyer support, which must be accompanied by a sustainable plan to deliver more quality, affordable housing on a major scale, in both the private and social sectors.

“In the meantime, IMLA believes that Government needs to acknowledge the crucial role buy-to-let landlords play in the Private Rented Sector which provides homes for almost 20% of the UK’s households. We believe landlords deserve more support, rather than a punitive tax and regulatory regime which threatens to push many out of existence, exacerbating the shortage of rental properties available and pushing up the cost of rent for the remainder.”

For further information please contact:

Paula John, Paula John Communications
Tel: +44 (0)7973 435 299

Notes to Editors

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) is the trade association that represents mortgage lenders who lend to UK consumers and businesses via the broker channel. Its membership of 55 banks, building societies and specialist lenders includes 18 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and accounts for about 90% of mortgage lending (91.6% of balances and 92.8% of gross lending).

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