Council of Mortgage Lenders Northern Ireland chairman Derek Wilson has urged the NI assembly to tackle the shortage of affordable homes which has helped fuel spiralling house price inflatoin over recent years.
Addressing over 150 delegates at the Hastings Europa Hotel, Wilson said: “Over the past year house prices in Northern Ireland have outstripped the rate of increase in other areas of the UK. It is no surprise that with house price inflation reaching 23.4% in 2006 we now have the lowest number of first-time buyers entering the market since 1980.
“The CML urges the Northern Ireland Assembly to address affordability constraints by implementing some of the reforms proposed in Sir John Semple’s report on affordable housing. This includes increasing the supply of affordable housing and examining whether a shared equity scheme – like HomeBuy in England – could play a part in helping more first-time buyers on to the property ladder.
Wilson added: “Mortgage lenders already offer a range of innovative products to help people buy their first home, but they cannot solve the affordability issue on their own. The CML looks forward to working with the Northern Ireland Executive and the Social Development Committee to find ways of helping those who want to become home-owners.”