On borrowed time? The need to make the most of the ‘window of opportunity’ provided by low interest rates

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Public Finances and the Economy

More than six years after the Bank of England’s base rate was cut to 0.5 per cent, interest rate rises finally appear to be back on the agenda. There may be good reasons for thinking that modest and gradual action will soon become appropriate, but the debt overhang associated with the pre-crisis credit boom continues … Continued

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The repossessions timebomb: how to help homeowners at risk of default

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Housing, Wealth and Debt

Against the backdrop of the most prolonged recession in living memory, the relatively small increase in homes being repossessed has been a welcome surprise. Numbers did spike, but they never reached the levels of the early 1990s and have been coming down steadily over the last four years. This owes something to government support programmes, … Continued

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The end of a ‘golden era’ for mortgages

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Housing, Wealth and Debt

It’s been a busy week in the world of monetary policy. On Sunday, Mark Carney said that rising house prices pose the biggest threat to economic recovery. On Tuesday, the official statistics told us what we already knew – that house prices in London are soaring, by 17 per cent year-on-year. Some homeowners are finding … Continued

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The ‘mortgage prisoners’ with no escape route

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Housing, Wealth and Debt

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has made headlines after expressing concerns about the dangers of another “big debt overhang” building up as house prices continue to rise and approvals for large mortgages increase. He is right to be concerned, and his intervention is a further reminder of how we need to … Continued

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