U.K. Housing Minister Says Property Market Still Has Room to Run

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said Britain’s housing boom may run for another four years as the market picks up from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, downplaying concern about an imminent bubble.

“On house prices, we’re nowhere near peak at the moment and we’re not expected to go past that peak price from back in 2008 until around 2018,” Hopkins said on BBC television today. “So across the country it’s still below peak.”

The Confederation of British Industry has said it’s on “high alert” about the property market in London and the southeast of England as house prices surge. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has also warned about the sustainability of housing and the Bank of England has said it’s monitoring developments.

BOE policy maker Ben Broadbent said today there’s no need for alarm over the housing market.

“In some sense we’ve already taken our foot off the accelerator as regards to mortgage lending,” he said today, explaining the bank has curtailed incentives for home loans in its credit-boosting Funding for Lending Scheme.

Hopkins said that building more houses is key to staving off a bubble and defended the government’s record on increasing the supply of homes.

He also said price inflation in London “is an issue” and “it is specific to London; it is about 9.1 percent, the rest of the country it’s 5.8 percent.

‘‘We need to build more houses and from a very low base,’’ the minister said. ‘‘We’ve just had the figures this morning and we’re seeing a 31 percent increase on houses built.”

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