Prime minister 'alert' to housing bubble fears
Prime minister David Cameron has given the strongest indication yet that action may be required to cool the UK's housing market.Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he agreed with Bank of England (BoE) governor Mark Carney's comments that the booming housing market poses the "biggest risk" to the country's economic recovery."It's absolutely right that we are alert to any dangers and problems," he said."This government hasn't just talked about that, we have actually given to the Bank of England, and the financial policy committee, the tools and responsibility to call out any problems in our economy, any bubbles in our economy, and to act on them."Help to Buy, which allows people to purchase homes costing up to £600,000 with a deposit as low as five per cent, has come under increasing scrutiny from ministers. The BoE is currently examining the effects of the initiative and Mr Cameron said the government would consider making any changes it proposes.The prime minister also rejected the claim that Conservative-run local authorities are keeping house prices high by blocking local developments. He said the government has made radical changes to the planning system to ensure more residential properties are built.Many Conservatives see the Help to Buy policy as an extension of the Right to Buy scheme introduced by Margaret Thatcher during the 1980s, which enabled occupiers of council houses to buy their properties.Mr Cameron said he believes the reforms brought in by Mrs Thatcher were important but claimed Conservative prime ministers since the second world war have believed in a property-owning democracy.He talked of the pride he experienced when he first walked into his own flat and said he wanted more people to own their own home. He described Help to Buy as "putting rocket boosters under Right to Buy".Mr Cameron said the financial crisis made it more difficult for people to take out loans but that the situation is improving along with the wider economy.
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