“We are seeing probably a more buoyant housing market for the first time in perhaps as much as a decade,” Jenkins, 52, said yesterday at a conference in New York. “That’s a bit concerning because there is the risk of a property-driven boom in the U.K. The regulators are on it and don’t intend to let it happen, but these things can be difficult to control.”
A U.K. house-price gauge rose to the highest in almost seven years in August as the economic recovery gathered pace and government measures intended to ease the supply of mortgages boosted demand, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said yesterday. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne this week defended his Help-to-Buy plan amid criticism it may be fueling a bubble in house prices, saying it’s “sensible” and needed to help the market.
Jenkins said consumers are spending more than a year ago, citing the firm’s data on customers’ purchasing. Even so, they’re shopping for bargains on the Internet and eating out at cheaper restaurants, he said.
“The recovery still feels to me as if it’s beginning,” he said. “The sorts of things you’d expect to fuel economic growth in the U.K. seem to me to be still quite weak. The data is better than people expected, but still not great.”
Barclays, which offers mortgages through its Woolwich brand, climbed 0.1 percent to 306.15 pence as of 10:14 a.m. in London trading today. The stock has risen 17 percent in London trading this year, the second-biggest gainer out of Britain’s five largest lenders after Lloyds Banking Group Plc.
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