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Funders call for 'investment framework' detail as white paper asks them to 'invest more widely in housing'

Government white paper calls on institutional investors to ‘invest more widely in housing, including shared ownership’.

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The UK government housing white paper has called on investors to up their commitment to housing in return for ‘a clear and stable long-term framework for investment, including products for rent’.

It is also calling on institutional investors to ‘invest more widely in housing, including shared ownership’.

It came alongside a call for housing associations and local authorities to build more and improve on efficiency, in return for clarity on rent policy post-2020.

The long-awaited white paper - entitled ‘fixing our broken housing market’ and launched yesterday (7 February 2017) - called on local authorities, developers, HAs, infrastructure providers, mortgage lenders and local communities to play their role in addressing housing need.

It said for lenders and institutional investors, the government is offering ‘a clear and stable long-term framework for investment, including products for rent’.

‘In return we call upon lenders and investors to back developers and social landlords in building more homes,’ it added.

It said pension schemes are increasingly regarding housing as an appropriate investment, and that the pooling of local government pension funds ‘will increase opportunities’ for their assets to be used to support infrastructure projects, including housing’.

John Marr, senior policy advisor at the Council for Mortgage Lenders, which represents housing lenders and investors with £60bn of private finance in social housing, said they would welcome ‘a clear and stable long-term framework for investment’.

But he added that they ‘want to see more detail on how government might achieve this’.

Alex Greaves, M&G Real Estate’s head of residential investment, said the paper is ‘an encouraging recognition by the government of the pivotal role institutions can play in addressing the housing shortage’.

He said the next step for the government is to remove barriers to delivery such as the three per cent additional stamp duty levy, help widen the role institutional investors can play and speed up the process.

James Lidgate, director of housing at Legal & General Capital, said: ‘It’s great news that the government recognises the important role institutional money can play in the build to rent market.

‘We are clearly supportive of the acceleration of housing delivery, to which we are already committed through investment in modular construction. 

‘We welcome the government’s consultation with industry to bring these new policy announcements forward, in order to ensure that institutional investors, with long-term money can be at the forefront of the solution.’


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