2016 has been a good year for the market, with gross lending expected to be 12% higher than in 2015. However, market conditions over the next few years are predicted to dampen prospects for future growth. On the supply side, legislative changes in the buy-to-let sector, namely higher rates of stamp duty and more stringent underwriting requirements, will act as a drag on future growth in what has been the standout sector in the years since the financial crisis. On the demand side, economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote will reduce the willingness of consumers to take on more debt.
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- Buy-to-let lending, the outstanding success story of recent years, will suffer a reversal of fortune due to adverse changes in stamp duty, tax relief, and underwriting criteria. Following a rush by investors to beat the April 2016 increases in stamp duty, new lending in the latter part of the year has been lower than in 2015, and the market will flatline in subsequent years.
- Lending on shared ownership properties will see huge percentage increases over the forecast period, largely off the back of the government’s new Affordable Homes Programme. During 2016-21, an estimated 135,000 shared ownership homes will be built under this scheme, thus fueling a boom in associated mortgage lending.
- Equity release continues to enjoy much success, with lending showing significant year-on-year growth. Prospects for further growth are healthy, with several years’ worth of property price rises leaving borrowers with plenty of capital value to unlock, while the cost of equity release products is falling.
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Mortgage Advice Bureau
Al Rayan Bank
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