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Cable: Stable mortgage level 'is three times salary'

It is crucially important that the banks don't throw petrol on the fire. Most of us who have been through various housing booms in the past have recognised that a kind of stable level is three or three-and-a-half times

I was appalled when I discovered that banks were lending five times.

They have already reined it back on advice from the Bank of England but this is the key area that the Bank of England has got to operate in to make sure that this boom in house prices, particularly in the south of England, doesn't destabilise the whole of the economy.

– Vince Cable, Business Secretary

Vince Cable appalled about the size of home loans

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, says he is appalled about the size of some loans being agreed by some lenders and has urged the Bank of England to use its powers to intervene.

Credit: PA

Vince Cable renewed his stark warnings about the threat to the wider economy posed by soaring house prices in London and the south east amid reports Chancellor George Osborne will tackle the issue in his annual Mansion House speech later.

Mayor to launch accreditation scheme for landlords

The Mayor hopes the scheme will give tenants more power to choose a good landlord Credit: Reuters

London Mayor Boris Johnson is due to launch his new London Rental Standard scheme today. The initiative is aimed at setting standards for renting in the capital by giving out a badge of accreditation given to landlords aimed so renters can choose more wisely.

However, tenants association Generation Rent says the scheme is a waste of money as it is voluntary for landlords to sign up - and they also claim it duplicates work that some boroughs are already doing.

Homeowners extending London properties to avoid moving

London homeowners are more likely to carry out serious home improvements than in any other region because they can't afford to move house.

Homeowners in the South-East are increasingly extending their homes to avoid moving Credit: PA

New figures from Lloyds Bank show that property owners in the capital need extra bedroom space, so over a third (34%) have undertaken major work projects in the hope of adding value and a further 20% plan to within the next year.

In the South East, 38% of redevelopments are to create new bedrooms - significantly above the national average. This reflects the lack of available properties in the South East.

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House prices up 12% in last five years

A graph shows average annual price changes in the last five years.
A graph shows average annual price changes in the last five years. Credit: Land Registry

Property prices in England and Wales have increased by 12% since they bottomed out five years ago.

According to figures from the Land Registry, average the value of the average home stood at £169,124 in March this year.

That is up from £150,490 in April 2009 - the lowest point following the crash that began a year earlier.

Price increases have been quickening as the economic recovery has taken hold, with stronger demand leading to a surge in values.

Read: Housing market boom 'biggest risk' to economic recovery

Londoners say UK needs more homes

A new survey has found that Londoners see the greatest need for house building in the UK.

68% agree that more new homes are required - a higher proportion than the national average of 56% and those in the North where only 52% agreed.

Londoners want more house building in the UK Credit: Reuters

The findings form part of a nationwide study by financial firm Genworth highlighting the difficulties Britons face trying to get a foot on the property ladder.

It showed that 81% of British adults feel that saving for a deposit remains the key obstacle to owning a home.

Surge in London properties worth over £500,000

A quarter of all properties in London are now worth over £500,000, compared to one in seven in 2007, according to new figures.

Houses in upmarket Notting Hill Credit: Reuters

Building society Nationwide, who released the report, said prices in the capital were being forced up by wealthy overseas investors buying up properties at the higher end of the market.

The proportion of houses worth over £1 million has also more than doubled over the same period, from 3% to over 6%.

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