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Daily Telegraph: "Help to Buy risks new house price 'bubble', warns Cable"

"George Osborne's plan to offer Government guarantees for mortgages risks triggering another house price "bubble", the Business Secretary warns"

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"Vince Cable said that the help-to-buy scheme unveiled in the Budget earlier this year could simply 'inflate' the housing market, as occurred in the last decade.

"From next year, first and second time buyers will be offered government guarantees which should allow them to obtain competitive mortgages even if they have relatively small deposits.

"... However, some economists and business leaders have voiced warnings about the scheme and Mr Cable – who previously warned about the dangerous levels of debt before the financial crisis - has now indicated he shares their concerns."

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The Observer:
"Political cowardice stops us from solving our wretched housing crisis"

"The most desirable parts of London are out of reach for all except the world's super-rich. The taxation of property is stuck at 1991 values because no politician will entertain the political fallout of organising the council tax on proper, up-to-date valuations, let alone entertain introducing a rational system of property tax.

"Even the declared aims of policy are not being met. Owner occupation, despite universal invocations to its importance, is stagnating at around 15 million homes, falling as a proportion of total households to 64% – the lowest for 25 years. Fewer than half the homes in London are now owner occupied. Social housing is in gentle decline. Meanwhile, the private rented sector has nearly doubled over the last 15 years to 4 million homes.

"Indeed, in some local authorities, a third of former council houses, sold under right-to-buy legislation, are winding up, crazily, in the hands of buy-to-let landlords, who charge half as much rent again as the former local authority landlords.

"It is mad, mad, mad, yet much of Britain's economic structure and culture are invested in the madness. Around 60% of all UK bank lending is in residential mortgages, and most personal wealth is bound up with housing."

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