Geoff Ford: Good news on housing but why did they wait so long?
I DON'T have a direct line to George Osborne but I'm still pleased he's taken my advice.
I've banged on about the housing market for years. Back in February I again lamented the huge difficulties potential homebuyers had in raising the 20 per cent deposit our banks and building societies demand to access low interest rates.
Now Osborne has recognised this and made it the main plank of his bid to kick-start the economy. Two schemes will mean that, in short, homebuyers will only need to find a five per cent deposit.
That still means that for the average-priced house (£160,000) in our region, £8,000 will have to be put down, but it's better than £32,000.
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I'd wanted ‘Government-owned’ banks like RBS to be the shock troops in the low deposit campaign, hoping that this would stimulate competition in the mortgage market.
But instead the Government itself will be the guarantor. Whichever way, the taxpayers will ultimately carry the can.
As I said last month, a vibrant housing market leads to all sorts of spin-offs for the economy. Tradesmen get work, shops sell goods, and young people get on the ladder and improve their lives.
It's just a shame it took the Chancellor so long to get his act together. Fears of another housing bubble should be the last thing on our minds in a flat-lining economy.
Having said that, not everyone is in a position to buy property, so there is still a need for more social housing, something which successive governments have failed to prioritise.
Many homeowners in the Grimsby area, like me, brought up their young families in council houses before stepping onto the bottom rung of the property ladder.
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