It has often been said that London is like another country where the housing market is concerned, but in recent times it seems that London is a whole other planet. Whilst some of the issues are by no means unique, they take on a whole other dimension in the Capital.
In the political arena there have been moves towards devolution for different geographical areas, so why are lenders reticent to have separate lending policies for areas like London? After all, private banks and local Building Societies have had such policies for years, yet London often suffers from the same old tired criteria and products.
As the population in London continues to grow, age, introduce different working patterns and become even more diverse, we need a whole host of fresh policies for today and the future.
Perhaps most importantly, we need to open up the mortgage market further to flexible working patterns, such as contractors and the newly self-employed. We need a better understanding of the New Build market to make sure that there is mortgage availability at higher LTV’s for buyers after the Help To Buy Schemes have gone.
We need lenders who can deal effectively with large loans, offering policies such as interest only to the right type of clients and giving them more flexibility with fixed rates and no penalties.
We need to deal with the aging population and ensure there are options available as well as looking at the key issue of where the workers are going to live as they struggle to deal with higher house prices.
Buying is not the only issue and we still need a generation of landlords who can offer rented accommodation. So we need policies that can deal with low yielding Buy to Lets, longer term tenancies and loans to limited companies.
There are a myriad of issues to tackle and a London Lending Forum to address is a good start.