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First Time Buyers Demand Help From Lenders

February 20, 2011

Proposed regulations which could see first time buyers reclassified as ‘high risk’ have caused fear among those hoping to enter the property market. The FSA’s Mortgage Market Review has proposed regulations which, if enacted, would pose further difficulty for first time buyers.

Grant Shapps, Housing Minister, has urged the Financial Service Authority to rethink the proposal and has organised a meeting in Whitehall in order to address the issues. Those expected to attend include representatives from lending institutions, political think-tanks and banks. Shapps aim is to find ‘creative solutions’ to the current problems faced by first time buyers. With the average age of first time buyers now 37, Shapps wants to remove barriers to what he terms the ‘basic right’ of homeownership. He went on to say, “I am not ideologically attached to any particular form of home ownership but it is important to meet people’s aspirations. The job of government is not to tell people where to live or how to live but it is to try to meet the aspirations that your citizens have. “In our case, a lot of people quite rightly want to own their own home. I think people appreciate the security of home ownership and it is therefore the Government’s job to find ways to make that happen.”

Important topics for consideration at the summit will, inevitably, be the expansion of shared ownership schemes across the country and the reduction of deposits required to obtain a mortgage. Shapps also aims that consumer trust in mortgage insurance schemes could see lending increase as lenders would have more security against the loan. This would certainly help ease lenders fears, and encourage them to provide higher loan to value mortgages again, such as 90% mortgages.

Regardless of the methods used, Shapps is keen to ensure the 1.4 million potential first time buyers can get on the property ladder, fearing the whole market could ‘freeze’ if they are unable to do so.

Written By Richard Best & Kate Hannon

20th February 2011

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