Rock and hard place

With the Institute of Directors on one side and Simon Jenkins on the other, where is a safe place to stand?

I blogged about Help to Buy 2 earlier this week the day before the breakfast meeting at which George Osborne would apparently reveal full details of the mortgage guarantee that will be available in January.

Nothing that happened over the coffee and croissants has changed my view about the dangers of increasing demand for housing while doing nothing about supply. The schemes that it replaces are open to criticism too but at least they were targeted at first-time buyers and new-build homes. Help to Buy 2 will available to all buyers and on secondhand properties too – and it extends state support to people on household incomes of up to £150,000. Will it trigger a boom and bust that leaves the government picking up the bill or (perhaps more likely) give future governments a direct stake in propping up house prices?

Read the rest of this post on Inside Edge, my blog for Inside Housing

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