The Mortgage Mole

Career Motivation Since 2000 house prices have rocketed, meaning first-time buyers have found it harder than ever to get their foot on the ladder.

The consensus has been that a government failure to kick-start a static house building market has caused supply to plummet. But now it seems things are changing, with the government last week ripping up planning rules, introducing NewBuy and an extension of the house building fund in the Budget. Why the newfound enthusiasm then?

Sadly, judging by the report into the Treasury’s reaction to the financial crisis last week, it was certainly not out of fears of a property crisis. Housing minister Grant Shapps famously made belated criticism of the Mortgage Market Review in 2010 only when he realised it would have affected his ability to get a mortgage, and so it was the case here.

The Treasury report states that “some interviewees commented that [house price inflation] was leading to a situation where only staff with other income could afford a long-term career at the Treasury”.

All of which goes to prove Mole’s golden rule – only when politicians are affected do policies begin to change.

Trophy Life Barclays brought the actual Premier League trophy to London & Country’s Bath headquarters recently after the brokerage won Mortgage Strategy’s Top of the League competition.

Staff were able to pose for pictures with the cup (see caption competition, right) but unfortunately, just like most NewBuy schemes, the two men who came along to guard the cup made it clear it was strictly look but not touch.

“The thing’s massive and weighs four stone,” a source told Mole. “So on the plus side with no-one able to grab it the chances of anyone knocking it over and getting squished were hugely reduced.”