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Sunday Telegraph: "Britain's housebuilders get back on the ladder to a boom"

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"As in previous months, the housebuilding companies' financial results will continue to spell out the sector's upbeat story of repaired profit margins, as the companies:
  • build on land they bought more cheaply after the housing crash
  • move away from city-centre flats to family homes, and
  • continue to increase their sales from a very depressed base.
"... [While a government scheme is supporting] housing market activity, consumers' expectations of rising house prices may also be playing a part, incentivising people to look at buying now.

"... [But] any pick-up in the housing market, as with the housebuilding sector, is coming off a weak base. Despite the rise in mortgage approvals, they are still only around half the level they were before the financial crisis. Some may also argue that rising house sales and, as a result, prices, will continue to shut out first-time buyers, and should not be encouraged."

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The Observer:
"Without affordable new homes, how do we build a better Britain?"

"The pre-crash long credit boom masked [various] strains: mortgage lenders would offer mortgages that were 100% or more of the property valuation, and often to dubious credit risks. In the process, they lifted house prices well beyond what incomes could normally bear.

"No more. Poor credit risks are being shunned. Moreover, the prospect that middle earners' incomes will be 3% lower in 2020 than in 2008, as the Resolution Foundation's commission on living standards reported, is a further blow.

"To make matters worse, the flow of first-time buyers in the decade ahead will be hit as ex-students defer purchase because they are shouldering £40,000 or more of debts from fees. British house prices, reckons the IMF, are up to 30% higher than they should be, measured by British income levels.

"Even allowing for government schemes, the bank of Mum and Dad, [fewer] planning restrictions, low property taxation and all the other factors supporting prices, it is hard to imagine they can do anything other than decline in real terms in the years ahead."

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