NHC Bank of England November Roundtables

In November, the NHC organised a series of three roundtables across the North with regional agents from the Bank of England. The agents provided an update on the UK economic outlook from the perspective of the Bank of England. This included the key economic forecasts published by the Bank, as well as discussing the key judgements that the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee make when making a decision about setting interest rates.

These roundtables were attended by chief executives and senior finance colleagues from NHC members across the sector and provided our members with the opportunity to hear from economic decision makers on issues related to the housing sector.

The first North East session was held on the 15th November at Ward Hadaway’s Newcastle office with Mauricio Armellini, Bank of England’s agent for the North East. The second session was for Yorkshire and the Humber (Y&H) and was again hosted by NHC supporter member Ward Hadaway at their Leeds office on the 16th November, with Y&H deputy agent Paul Mount providing the economic outlook. Finally, our supporter member JLL hosted us at their Manchester office on the 22nd November for the North West session with agent for the North West, Alison Stuart.

Each of the regional agents began the roundtables by presenting the Bank of England’s economic outlook and details of the recent forecasts from the Bank. The agents explained the key judgements made ahead of changing interest rates and how these decisions will aim to impact inflation. Detail was provided on the unemployment rate, house prices, inflation forecasts for growth. Much of the discussions were centred around inflation, with members emphasising the effect rising costs are having on maintenance and development. There were also key conversations around mortgages, with a significant number of mortgage owners coming to the end of their fixed term rate in 2023, meaning a large increase in annual payments once the fixed period is over. The uncertainty and rising costs of buying a home will also cause further strain on the rented sector with more people choosing to remain in private rented or social rented housing. Furthermore, private landlords could also begin to change the tenure of their properties, with rising mortgage costs and imminent increased regulation in the sector, along with rising house prices motivating landlords to turn to owner-occupied tenure.

Linking to inflation, there were various discussions on the rent cap and how this could stifle development, with some suggestion from members of less focus on the decarbonisation agenda due to reduced capacity. Members raised the possibility of government grants for purchasing stock which could help to improve supply, noting that without any funding it will be difficult for providers to increase stock.

The NHC organise Bank of England roundtables yearly and will be looking to arrange a series of events for 2023, if you have any questions regarding these events or wish to participate, please contact Kate Maughan (Director of Member Engagement) Kate.Maughan@northern-consortium.org.uk

We’d like to thank our supporter members Ward Hadaway and JLL for kindly hosting these roundtables in their regional offices.