Rishi Sunak

Source: Shutterstock/ubankite

We join in welcoming measures that allow an increasing number of first-time buyers get their feet on the property ladder.

However, as a development finance lender working closely with SME property developers trying to channel much-needed funding into new housing, we urge the government to also consider measures that tackle the supply side of the property market.

Failure to do so will risk further deepening the affordability gap. Fuelling demand without addressing the shortage of supply risks creating a ticking time bomb by further inflating prices in the medium to long term and pricing out first-time buyers.

With just over 170,000 new homes completed in the year ending June 2019 and with construction having taken a big hit during the pandemic, the government is very far from reaching its target of building 300,000 new homes every year.

Lack of funding, especially among SME property developers and small construction companies, is a key reason for this and today only 12% of new build homes are built by small builders, down from 40% in 1988.

One concrete and effective way for the government to support housebuilding is by working with alternative lenders to channel funding to SME developers.

Due to their nimble size, flexibility and efficiency, alternative lenders and peer-to-peer property lending platforms have demonstrated that they can and must be part of the solution to the UK housing crisis.

Furthermore, these innovative fintech companies form part of a sector that, according to the recent Kalifa review, generates £11bn in annual revenue.

We hope the government will recognise the key role played by alternative lenders and bring them into the fold to help solve the housing supply crisis.

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, chief strategy officer, Blend Network