Date: 1/06/2010

Running on Empty

Anthony Wood of Samuel Wood & Co sees more buyers returning to the property market but knows that many more would join them if they could secure a mortgage.

A property industry without mortgage funds is about as useless as a motor industry without fuel at the pumps.

At our recent extensive round of Mayfair national property forums an extraordinary picture unfolded.  Many of our colleagues across the country reported greatly increased levels of property transactions, but in up to ninety per cent of cases, these were funded by cash buyers.

The banks are still hoarding money - our money!  Messrs Osborne and Cable must get a firm grip on this problem.  Scrapping Home Information Packs can help the market but not if lenders won't lend.  Together with the new Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, they must somehow stop this logjam and allow eager first time buyers the funds they need to climb onto the housing ladder without continuing to apply crippling lending criteria.

Releasing funds will stimulate the rest of the market and allied industries.  Our property market won't heal itself.  It either needs government intervention or enlightened banks and building societies - preferably both.  It is essential to get mortgage funds pumping again.

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