Required By Bank Of England – The recent base rate cut has done little to ease concerns about the housing market, with house builders and estate agents feeling ‘the pinch’. While the Bank of England may have cut its rate, the market rate for interest charged between banks- against which most mortgages are set, has scarcely moved.
Required By Bank Of England – John Stewart at the Home Builders Federation said, “The housing market began weakening last year, but it is clearly the credit and mortgage situation that is now the key. The longer the weakening lasts, the greater the risk that there will be a spill over into the rest of the economy.”
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) is requesting more cash from the Bank of England to deal with the ‘mortgage famine.’ Mr Crawshaw, Chairman of CML said, “The Bank of England should extend its three-month loans to 12 or 24 months to boost liquidity, as well as kick-starting the market for new mortgage backed securities.”
It is not the responsibility of the Bank of England to look after the welfare of banks, building Societies and other financial institutions; it is the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The Bank of England has one simple task; combating inflation by keeping the Consumer Price Index (CPI) below 2 per cent. Last month’s CPI was 2.5 per cent and rising.
It’s not what some people want to hear but, falling house prices are a good thing, and not a bad thing. House price reductions are necessary and unavoidable if the market is to be restored to anything like equilibrium. The Country cannot have a stable financial system while property prices are so high that First-Time buyers on average earnings (and higher), cannot afford to enter the market. The fundamentals have always been about supply and demand.
The problem is that we aren’t seeing the volumes of sales. Consumers do not want to commit in an uncertain market. Even though interest rates are coming down, lenders have withdrawn their most attractive deals, calling an end to 125% and 100% mortgage products.
Tony Pidgley, Managing Director of Berkeley Group said, “There’s no use pretending otherwise, this is serious stuff. There is a lack of feel-good factor and there’s a limited availability of funds. The housing industry is in for a very tough time. People are just going to sit still until the crisis is over.”
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