Expert says insurers can provide Help to Buy exit strategy

Tue, 25 Feb 2014

Expert says insurers can provide Help to Buy exit strategy
An expert has said the government should turn to insurers to make sure the Help to Buy scheme does not result in another housing bubble.

Vice-president of commercial mortgage insurance Europe at Genworth Simon Crone has warned that, unless a succession model is put in place within 12 to 18 months, the boost that the housing policy has given the market will peter out, according to the Financial Times.

"We should not underestimate the importance of an exit strategy, particularly to stakeholders such as housebuilders, which are going to rely on high loan-to-value mortgage product availability staying strong for a lot longer than three years."

Mr Crone said leading countries that had provided a state mortgage guarantee had worked with the private insurance sector, on either a full or partial handover, to ensure such a cliff edge did not occur.

There were many benefits to insurers stepping in, he argued, not least because the money that would be taking any potential first loss would be private, rather than coming from the taxpayer.

He warned if builders were not given the certainty of knowing whether or not credit would be available after the scheme stops in 2017, the momentum could tail off.
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