Two reports today show conflicting messages about the housing market. The Department for Communities and Local Government said prices in April were 10.1% higher than a year ago. This ties in with the increased demand that is starting to filter through in terms of transactions. However, separate figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that mortgage lending this year has been modest. The number of loans granted to homebuyers fell by 9% in April to 40,000. However, lending was still 15% higher than a year ago. The big problem shown by the CML report is that first time buyers are still finding it very difficult to get higher loan to value mortgages. First time buyers traditionally have lower deposits. With question marks over what the Chancellor will do on 22 June in respect of Capital Gains Tax I still expect more mixed messages as far as the property market is concerned. My view is that we are still moving in the right direction with a few bumps on the road to be crossed.
Chancellor – please do something to help the first time buyers in particular and the housing market in general on 22 June.
Scottish Government – please abolish the Home Report.