EP: Housing demand will help region avoid slump

The North West economy will be protected from the prevailing slowdown by massive untapped housing demand, according to English Partnerships' regional director Paul Spooner.

He said: "Despite the current conditions, increased demand for housing still remains. We have got to find ways to respond to that demand and to help people to get onto the housing ladder."

Spooner added: "The demand for housing is not only important in the city centres of Liverpool and Manchester but in town centres like Blackburn and Bolton. The fundamental economic indicators in the North West remain that communities with strong town and city centres will succeed."

Spooner was speaking at the English Partnerships Regeneration Reception, sponsored by law firm Eversheds, held at the Hilton in Manchester city centre.

In recent weeks and months many residential developers have slashed the price of apartments and launched numerous shared-equity products to minimise the cost to first time buyers as traditional mortgage lenders tighten lending rules.

Spooner added that the new Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) being formed out of the merger of EP with the Housing Corporation would be focused on "flexibility". Different types of solution to public-private partnerships would be examined by the HCA from direct funding to advice and asset-backed vehicles.

He played down speculation that the HCA head office would be located in Manchester as a consolation from the Government for losing the super-casino. Spooner said: "The HQ will be in London, I'm sure, with regional offices around the country, most probably in existing premises that EP and the Housing Corporation already own or lease."

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here