Thursday, 12 June 2014

Is Cable pre-historic?

Should we go back to limiting home buyers to borrowing 3 to 3.5 times their income, as Vince Cable suggested on BBC Radio this morning?

It's what he calls a "stable level" compared with the multiples of 5 times which some borrowers have been getting.

Here are some responses from the mortgage industry to show you the other side of the argument:

*"You would disappoint around half of first time buyers" because the average income multiple for first timers is 3.42 at the moment, so large numbers are having to borrow more than that.

*"He's pre-historic" because he's harking back to a time (in the late 1980s, early 1990s) when people had to budget for zig-zagging interest rates which could be 15%. You  don't have to do that now, although lenders are stress-testing household income for a jump to 7% rates.

*"It's nonsense", because the regulator, the FCA, has forced lenders to move away from strict income multiples, to detailed affordability checks. For some 5 times income is affordable, for others 3 times income is unaffordable.

*Cable doesn't appreciate that the market in London has already gone "off the boil".

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