Housing association funding is set to take off this year, according to Newcastle Building Society (NBS), which reported record lending in 2001 of more than £130m, spelling good news for brokers in the shared ownership market.
Houses due to be transferred from local authority control to independent housing associations are set to exceed 407,000 over the next few years, according to Daren Warneford, lending manager at NBS.
He said: ‘Competition in this market is increasing, but there are more than 2,000 housing associations throughout the country, and we are in a strong position to help them. We are working with organisations throughout the UK and have provided funding to more than 50 housing associations.’
The increase in lending will create opportunities for brokers wanting a slice of the lucrative shared ownership market.
Peter Todd, spokesperson at Lambeth Building Society, said: ‘There are a selection of brokers who have a lion’s share of this market. It is specialist, but there are opportunities for brokers to get more business. It is a growth area and more advisers will want to enter it.’
Robert Hollinshead, chief executive at NBS, added: ‘The principles which under- pin housing associations fit extremely well with our mutual philosophy. Funding housing associations provides us with available opportunities to reinvest our profits in a way which is extremely beneficial to local communities as well as to our own members.’
Todd agreed that the housing association market is set to increase, and said Lambeth has doubled its allocation for shared ownership.
He said: ‘We are predicting a big stride in lending in terms of concentrating our efforts in the niche market. We are looking at affordable housing in the South East as we believe it will be a buoyant area with great scope.’