12 wishes for a merry mortgage Christmas

MPowered Mortgages shares its wish list for 2024 on what it would like to see from the market and its stakeholders for a Happy New Year.

Related topics:  Finance,  Mortgages,  2024
Property | Reporter
20th December 2023
Mortgage 221
"The process of home ownership is at a crossroads, with affordability and access remains a challenge, but innovation in the house buying process at an all-time high"
- Peter Stimson - MPowered Mortgages

As we reach the end of 2023, it's a good opportunity to look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. With that, here are our 12 wishes for Christmas.

1: A housing minister that remains in situ long enough to make a difference.

2: An HTB ISA that allows first-time buyers to actually save a decent deposit that will allow them to buy more than a garage or, continuing with the Christmas theme, a gingerbread house!

3: Affordability criteria that don’t cause widespread disruption every time interest rates change by impacting the amount borrowers can borrow – after all, we are supposed to be assessing affordability over 35 years.

4: Stamp Duty reform. We have a housing crisis. We need to encourage people under-occupying properties to downsize. One way to do this is to remove stamp duty when you downsize properties or sell above a certain age

5: Leasehold reform. Long promised, still to be delivered. Far too many owners of flats have issues with leases/ground rents from their freeholders.

6: Changes to planning law. We’ve been talking about delivering 300,000 houses a year for 20+ years and have never done it! We can’t achieve it within the confines of the current planning system, as developments get blocked at a local level.

7: Some green initiatives that actually work for homeowners and landlords! We urgently need to insulate and improve the UK's existing housing stock.

8: A coordinated housing, energy, and transport policy – housing is responsible for 40% of the UK's carbon emissions, and 26% of its transport emissions, yet the two seem to be tackled in isolation

9: A coherent policy and approach to landlords and renters, including social housing. Don’t ignore renters! What is the policy provision for those in rented accommodation?

10: An end to Direct Government intervention in the market – no more mortgage guarantee schemes and shared ownership. This is inflating the market and putting FTBs at risk. We need affordable homes and decent social housing provision

11: Controls on house builders who profiteer – There should be no excess profiteering from initiatives aimed at growing home ownership.

12: Investment in key trades skills. We have a major trade shortage – none of the building we are talking about will be possible without bricklayers, plumbers, and electricians.

Peter Stimson, Head of Product at MPowered Mortgages said: “Ensuring that 2024 builds on the revival of the industry in 2023 is pivotal for both businesses, brokers and consumers. Steps must be taken internally, from all stakeholders, to ensure that the market thrives without government intervention in 2024. This will give the industry and housebuyers a firm foundation in which to operate on.

"Industry issues such as planning law and green initiatives must continue to stay at the fore, whilst the ongoing challenges with affordability must continue to be worked on by lenders and governance.

"The process of home ownership is at a crossroads, with affordability and access remains a challenge, but innovation in the house buying process at an all-time high. Lenders must work with governmental bodies and brokers to ensure that the industry continues to put legislation and services in place to allow more people onto the housing ladder.”

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