The Building Societies Association (BSA) has called on all parts of the Welsh housing market to work together to ensure the supply of new housing in Wales keeps up with rising demand.
The trade body, which represents all 44 building societies in the UK including the Principality, Swansea and Monmouthshire, made the call as part of its ‘Housing for All’ conference which took place today (Wednesday 10 June) in Cardiff.
Delegates to the conference included local authority representatives, estate agents, developers, housing associations and building societies to discuss the problems and opportunities facing the Welsh housing market.
The opening speech at the conference was given by Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA, who called on the different parts of the market to identify the barriers and opportunities to ensure sufficient housing was provided for future generations within Wales.
He said: “In Wales there are encouraging signs but the ultimate goal has to be a significant increase in the number of new homes completed each year.
”As mortgage lenders, building societies play their part in fulfilling borrowers’ housing aspirations and as the Help to Buy Wales scheme shows can have a positive effect.
“But we need action to be taken now to ensure we have sufficient homes for the population of tomorrow.”
The headline speech of the event was made by Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, who commented:
“I am proud of the Welsh Government’s commitment to increasing the supply of homes of all tenures across Wales. We are on track to meet our target of providing 10,000 additional affordable homes, while good progress is also being made on our ambition of supporting the construction and sale of 5,000 homes through Help to Buy – Wales.
“The sector plays a key role in helping us fulfil our vision for housing in Wales. Through continued partnership working between private, public and third sectors organisations, I am confident we can meet the challenges we face and deliver the additional homes we need.”
The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 44 UK building societies. Building societies have total assets of over £330 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of over £250 billion, 19% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold almost £240 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 19% of all such deposits in the UK. Building societies account for about 28% of all cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 39,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 1,550 branches.
Building societies lent £12.7 billion of gross new mortgages in the first three months of the year, new data released by the BSA has revealed. This accounts for 29% of all new lending across the market. Societies also approved over 91,000 mortgages in the first quarter.