An over-reaction by regulators and lenders to the sub-prime mortgage crisis is choking off the housing market, particularly for first time buyers, according to Redrow Homes chairman Steve Morgan.
In his latest management statement, he decries the FSA’s regulatory plans as destined to cut off an adequate and fairly priced supply of mortgages, and puts the blame for the fact that house builders are working at 50 per cent capacity firmly at the door of the regulators.
He points out that the average age of a first time buyer is now 37, and people with perfectly good and well-paid jobs simply can’t afford the deposits required by lenders, forcing more people into the private rented sector.
He says the regulators are going too far and the medicine is killing the patient, ad he calls on the Coalition Government to ensure a greater supply of new houses by freeing up the supply of affordable mortgages.
Despite that he has returned Redrow to profit.
Revenue in the first half of 2010 jumped 31 per cent to £396.9 million and a pre-tax loss of £44.2 million in 2009 has turned into a £700,000 profit.
Like for like private house sales up to August were nine per cent up on last year.
Steve Morgan’s stake is worth at least £65 million.
Back at Steve Morgan’s other interest – Wolverhampton Wanderers – things couldn’t be busier. Despite some frustrating days on the pitch the club has big plans. Molineux will be transformed into a 50,000 capacity stadium in a £40 million development plan.
A four-stage revamp will turn the ground into a showpiece bowl-shaped venue, with steeper and higher stands which will bring supporters much closer to the pitch.
He bought Wolves from Sir Jack Hayward for just £10 and pledged to invest at least £30 million on transforming the club and its ground. He looks on course to exceed that.
Steve Morgan, aged 57, began his successful business career in construction in 1974 when he founded Redrow Homes with the help of a £5,000 loan from his father.
He built it up into one of the country’s most successful housebuilders. When it floated in 2000 he sold shares worth almost £240 million.
He is a believer in philanthropy and in 2001 founded the Morgan Foundation which helps charities in Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales, and funds Wolves Aid, which supports local charities and itself benefited from a £125,000 donation from the Morgan Foundation. He is also involved in projects to supply running water to villages in Uganda.
The Morgan Foundation entrepreneur awards, founded by Steve Morgan, reached their 2010 climax in November when 29 finalists competed for significant cash prizes.
The winners of £110,000 in prize money included Wolverhampton-based not-for-profit company Access to Business.
The event was held at Carden Park Hotel near Chester which is part of the De Vere hotel group in which Steve Morgan has a significant stake.
Born in Garston, South Liverpool, he is married to Didi and has five children.
He received the OBE in 1992 for services to construction. In August he was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton.