The chair of the CML in Wales has expressing the importance of collaboration between lenders, regulator and government in continuing growth in the Welsh housing market.
Julie Ann Haines, chair of the Council of Mortgage Lenders Cymru and customer director for Principality Building Society, made her keynote speech took place at the CML Cymru annual lunch, which was attended by over 120 participants in the Welsh mortgage market.
In her speech, she reflected on her time representing lenders over the past 12 months and her priorities working as chair in helping evolve the Welsh market in 2016.
She said: “My take on the current state of the market is optimistic but with a note of caution. We’ve seen positive sentiment continue to return and this confidence is being supported by investors and funders. Mortgage lending continues to rise, with more people buying homes in Wales last year than any other since 2007. All the fundamental economic data suggests a housing market in growth whether that’s house prices, number of first time buyers, or very low arrears performance.
“Our expectations are that this trend will continue through 2016 as there is better affordability in Wales than the overall UK market and strong demand for our government-led schemes. But we mustn’t be complacent or forget that there is significant change in the Welsh, UK and global environment.”
She also spoke of the need to work closely with the Welsh government.
“We’re seeing more demands than ever on lenders on the regulation side, with the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review and the European Credit Directive, but also on the consumer side with greater needs for innovation, a demand for more diverse range of banking platforms in a digital age, and more individualised products.
“I see huge benefits of working collaboratively and so far Help to Buy Wales and the on-going work the Housing for an Ageing Population initiative are great examples of a much closer relationship developing with the Welsh government to improve the market for the consumer over the past few years. Moving forward, we must address the barriers to housing supply and work with government and regulator to ensure we provide appropriate affordable housing across Wales.
“The CML provides the conduit for collaboration across all stakeholders, and it is in our interests to make sure we’re all at the table to shape the agenda.”