What the young, the old, and the in-betweeners need
The Council of Mortgage Lenders' manifesto, A housing market to be proud of, for the general election highlights the decisions and actions that politicians should take to deliver effective housing solutions for the future.
They look at home-ownership, private renting, and social renting through the eyes of "the young, the old, and the in-betweeners", and conclude that strategic public policy is needed to address the needs of all these groups.
Mortgage lenders help millions of people onto the housing ladder but we also contribute billions to the private and social rented sectors as well.
While the dream of owning your own home remains alive and well, more and more people now have to look at other options as well.
Young people have been particularly squeezed in recent years. Rising prices and average deposits of £25,000 means that growing numbers are forced to either rely on the bank of mum and dad or give up hope of getting on the housing ladder.
Increasing the housing supply is vital, but we must also recognise that shared-ownership could allow more young people to become home owners, so it makes sense to grow this part of the market.
Older people are more likely to own their own homes outright, but increasing numbers are now borrowing into retirement. Regulation needs to recognise this and make it easier to borrow, and incentives to downsize from family homes should be increased.
There is considerable wealth tied up in housing that could be used to support people later in life. The next government needs to help the equity release and residential mortgage markets work in tandem and find ways of maximising that potential.
Existing homeowners make up the core of the housing market, but the number of movers has more than halved in recent years. With the prospect of higher interest rates on the horizon an increasing number of home owners may experience payment difficulties. The government must ensure the market is not squeezed even further, while ensuring a safety net for all those hit by rising rates.
The private rented sector is now the second largest sector in England with increasing numbers of people moving in between home ownership and renting. The government must ensure that private renting stays flexible with both short and longer term tenancies.
The social rented sector still plays a large role in the market. However, housing benefit reform has the potential to increase rental arrears and stifle investment in the sector.
Building the right type of housing in the right places is vital to a sustainable and affordable housing market. The next government must ensure that all local, national and European regulation helps deliver housing and housing finance.
By working together, we can build a housing market to be proud of.