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April 27, 2018

Putting Finance First: Solving the housing crisis is as complex as it is urgent

When it comes to solving the UK’s housing crisis, no singular intervention will immediately impact the availability and affordability of homes, nor can we point the finger of blame in one direction. The truth is that our housing markets have been dysfunctional for decades.
The attrition of smaller housebuilders since the 1980s has coincided with declining choice, constrained supply, and crippling cost increases in housing across all tenures. The collapse of entrepreneurship in this sector has changed the contours of the property market for the worse.

Small housebuilders are the key
Enterprising small businesses investing in and building homes are vital for a healthy housing market.  It is therefore responsibility of government and industry to act determinedly to improve business conditions for these crucially important business.
We must think boldly about solutions to the interlocking challenges to increasing the number of homes brought forward. What follows in this report is an acknowledgement by LendInvest that all parts of the industry have a role to play in unlocking the potential of small businesses, and an enterprising trio of initiatives that could be taken forward.

Fintech provides us with an opportunity
The evolution of fintech and the emergence of new finance models are an opportunity for government to explore alternative routes to funding future homes. And it is right that we seek to solve the finance conundrum. Identifying and acquiring land and navigating the complex planning system are not problems for SMEs if they cannot secure the finance to start a project in the first place.
What is required, is a combined effort by government and private partners to ensure small builders have access to the finance they need, to help effect the change.

Excerpt from Mark Prisk, Former Housing Minster (2012-2013) and Member of the Communities & Local Government Select Committee (since 2015) forward in ‘Putting Finance First: The alternative route to funding Britain’s SME housebuilders’.
This report calls on the UK government to forge better partnerships with the alternative finance industry to widen and accelerate access to finance for Britain’s small and medium-sized property investors and developers.
Click here to read the full report.