On the rise

As the evidence for a housing market recovery mounts by the day, so is the impression that an old-fashioned dose of house price inflation is now seen as a very good thing by the government.

In a survey out this morning, members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) report that activity is rising around the country and not just in London and the South East and that prices are up for the fourth month in a row. Yesterday, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that the number of loans to first-time buyers was up 30 per cent on a year ago to its highest level since the credit crunch in 2007. On Friday, the CML said buy to let lending topped £5.1 billion in the second quarter of the year, the highest since 2008.

And the DCLG published stats overnight showing that 10,000 people have registered for a help to buy equity loan in the last four months. Whether by coincidence or design, that was neatly calculated to capitalise on a housing market feel-good factor that was sent into overdrive by last week’s forward guidance from Bank of England governor Mark Carney that interest rates will stay at a record low until unemployment falls below 7 per cent (widely interpreted as meaning until 2016 at least).

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

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