George Osborne: Bank of England can act to cool housing market

George Osborne: Bank of England can act to cool housing market

Chancellor says it is up to the Bank to make judgment over property prices as concern grows over housing bubble.

George Osborne has suggested he will not intervene to try to tackle a housing bubble, despite growing concern that spiralling property prices could lead to a crash.

He said responsibility to cool the housing market lay with the Bank of England, which he said should not hesitate to use its powers to ensure economic stability. He said the government should “let them make the assessment” about the housing bubble.

House prices have leapt 8.5% over the year to April and now stand at an average of £177,648, while sales have lifted to their strongest levels in six years.

Three former chancellors have raised concerns that the government’s Help to Buy mortgage scheme could create problems in the market. Lord Lamont, who was chancellor of the exchequer under John Major, said Osborne was well aware of the potential problems with the programme.

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