Housing supremos pledge support for first time buyers

Housing supremos pledge support for first time buyers

10:55 AM, 16th February 2011, About 13 years ago

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Housing Minister Grant Shapps wants key players in the housing sector to join together to help first time buyers find homes.  House builders, lenders, insurers, councils and consumer groups turned up for a summit meeting chaired by Mr Shapps, to thrash out how they could help young people who want to own their own home.

A key issue emerging from the summit was a communication problem between different sectors of the housing industry.

Mr Shapps said helping everyone discuss their problems, including building on the work of the Home Finance Forum, would be vital to helping first time buyers.

The government wanted a frank and open discussion about all the issues.

Practical work that will now be taken forward includes:

  • Working with homebuilders and lenders to understand the current barriers to the availability of mortgages, and encouraging them to devise new mortgage products that address the challenges faced by first time buyers
  • Increasing shared ownership or equity loans that some lenders are already considering 
  • Exploring the barriers to the take-up of mortgage insurance, and looking at the role of mortgage indemnity guarantees for increasing lending to first time buyers.

Mr Shapps said: “We must do more to help aspiring first time buyers – the average age of the first time buyer with no support from their family is now 37, and there are 1.4 million households who aspire to own a home but are simply unable to do so because of house prices and mortgage availability.

“I wanted to hear a first hand account of the problems the sector faces, but I also wanted to knock heads together so the needs of young people who want to buy a home are put first. ”

The Council of Mortgage Lenders – the industry voice for all Britain’s major banks and building societies – has confirmed mortgage lenders will work with the government to help first time buyers.

“No-one will be surprised to learn that there is no simple quick fix for a market that has changed fundamentally since the credit crunch,”  said director general Michael Coogan.

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