MS Leader: Some kind of monster

Market intervention was the big topic of debate last week, with the Bank of England making the case for future LTV caps and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors calling on the Government to put a cap on housing inflation.

The latter measure in particular got the goat of many intermediaries who commented on Mortgage Strategy Online that surveyors were already doing this with persistent down valuations.

But interventions are hardly a new thing – we wouldn’t have much left of a market without them. Four years of a historically low base rate have avoided house prices being decimated by a torrent of repossessions. Quantitative easing helped the banks to find their feet, the Funding for Lending Scheme provided them with cheap funding and Help to Buy is providing the means for many first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder.

Like Frankenstein piecing together his monster, the UK housing market has been artificially kept alive over the last six years by the Government and Bank of England.

Tweaking the Help to Buy scheme to avoid hot spots developing in London seems logical, but if the Government needs to consider any additional measure to stem house prices then where it really needs to interfere, and in a major way, is house building.

Meanwhile, if you logged on to Mortgage Strategy Online, you would have seen we have got a cleaner, less cluttered look.

We have retained all the sections from the old website but hopefully you should find it easier to find what matters to you and your business, from news and features to the latest digital edition of the weekly magazine. And you can also now create your own profile when you comment on stories. Less us know what you think @Mortgagestrat or on our Facebook page.