In episode 18 of the Growth Series podcast, Jeremy Duncombe, Director of Intermediaries at Accord Mortgages, is joined by Jackie Bennet, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, to discuss the UK housing market, the issues, solutions and the future.
Jackie opens by discussing how the UK is no longer a single housing market; even in London there are huge differences in how prices fluctuate. While the capital has traditionally been the place when prices rocket upward, the last year has seen prices fall modestly, while in other areas of the country prices have risen.
The annual need for new homes is between 240,000 and 340,000 new builds. However the current supply is only slightly over 200,000, a figure still below that reached in the 1970s.
Also interesting is the much greater focus on multi-use buildings, particularly in town centres.
Jackie comments that she doesn’t see how prices will not continue to rise, save for market uncertainty, especially with Brexit weighing on the market.
On her thoughts regarding government policy toward the housing market, Jackie is less optimistic about long term planning to deal with the major challenges the industry faces, quipping, ‘We’ve had 15 housing ministers in the 18 years I’ve been in the mortgage industry’.
Jackie expressed more optimism regarding the white paper, ‘Fixing our broken housing market’. This government paper examined four key areas: planning for the right homes in the right places, building homes faster, diversifying the housing market and how to help people today. She discussed how UK Finance is contributing to work on diversification and supporting people currently in or getting into the housing market.
One interesting point of discussion is on the rise of ‘built to rent’ properties that includes the construction of gyms, shops, cafes and concierges, particularly in city centres. The goal is to bring more of these amenities to both young and older people living in these areas where high streets have suffered but builders can help.
The conversation moves on to the establishment of the New Homes Ombudsman and how UK Finance is working with the Home Builders Federation to make the body a reality.
Leaseholds are discussed, and also how attitudes have changed to move policy toward removing bad terms in leases, such as the doubling of rents every ten years.
Jackie also discusses the one thing she would change in the UK housing market, what the future holds for the industry, and what she sees as the biggest disruptors in the short, medium and long term.
Interestingly, beyond Brexit uncertainty and ever-evolving technology, it’s behavioural changes that Jackie finds the least understood of long-term pressures on the economy. These include first time buyers buying what she calls their ‘second house first’, meaning they buy bigger houses earlier in their lives than they used to. Equally, with the nature of work transforming and allowing people to work from home more easily, people are not moving closer to work as much as they used to.
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0.00 - 1.52 - Welcome and introduction
1.53 - 23.54 - In conversation with Jeremy Duncombe, Director of Intermediaries at Accord Mortgages, is Jackie Bennet, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, to discuss the UK housing market, the issues, solutions and the future, specifically detailing:
- How is the UK housing performing, and how is it evolving?
- What is the impact of technological changes on the modern day mortgage broker?
- What does the future look like for the housing industry?
23.54 - 24.49 Outro