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Borrowing costs 'may return to pre-recession levels'

Interest rates are likely to hit 5% within a decade, according to the outgoing Bank of England deputy governor for monetary policy. Sir Charlie Bean said it would be "reasonable" to expect borrowing costs to return to pre-recession levels in the long term - between five to 10 years.

Outgoing Bank of England deputy governor for monetary policy Sir Charlie Bean Credit: PA

Homeowners have enjoyed a historically low 0.5% base rate for five years but the level has caused misery for savers. Sir Charlie told Sky News: "It might be reasonable to think that in that long term you would go back to 5% but it's probably quite a long way down the road."

Earlier this week, Bank of England governor Mark Carney urged people to focus on the "big picture" rather than obsessing about when interest rates will start to rise.

It followed accusations that he had been behaving like an "unreliable boyfriend" by hinting at a rise this year, before appearing to back-pedal.

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Economist: House prices likely to continue rising

House prices are likely to continue rising "solidly" over the next few months, according to a leading economist.

House prices rose by 8.0% in the 12 months to March to reach £252,000 on average, ONS figures show. Credit: PA

Dr Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist for IHS Global Insight, said: "Housing market activity is likely to be supported by substantially improved consumer confidence, markedly rising employment, improving earnings growth and extended low mortgage interest rates."

The rise is also currently being fuelled by the Help to Buy initiatives and a short supply of homes in some areas, he added.

House prices rise 17% in London in a year

Annual house price rises in England are being driven by a 17% year-on-year increase in London, where the average house price has reached £459,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

"House prices are increasing strongly across most parts of the UK, with prices in London again showing the highest growth," it said in a report.

It also recorded a 6.6% rise in the East and a 6.1% increase in prices in the South East.

More: David Cameron would consider changes to Help to Buy scheme

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PM: I would consider changes to Help to Buy scheme

David Cameron said he would consider changes to the Government's Help to Buy mortgage scheme if advised to do so by the Bank of England.

The Prime Minister says he would consider changes to the 'Help to Buy' scheme if advised by the Bank of England. Credit: PA

When asked on Radio 4's Today show if the Government would think about changing the mortgage guarantee scheme to reduce its upper borrowing limit, the Prime Minister replied: "Of course. We will consider any changes that are proposed by Mark Carney."

The Bank of England's Governor said at the weekend that the bank is looking at new measures to control mortgage lending amid a shortage of home building.

The Help to Buy mortgage scheme lets people buy property worth up to £600,000 with deposits as a low as 5%.

House sellers' asking prices reach record high

House sellers' asking prices went up 8.9% in the last 12 months, meaning the average property is on sale at a new record high of £272,003.

  • In London, asking prices went up 16.3% in the last year
  • Compared with 4.9% across the rest of the country
  • Ten out of 32 boroughs in London say annual rises of more than 20% - with a 43% increase in Tower Hamlets driven by cash buyers.

Clegg hears Carney's warning on 'Help to Buy' scheme

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told ITV News the government may have to scale back its flagship 'Help to Buy' housing policy.

Nick Clegg said a warning from the Governor of the Bank of England - that booming house prices are a threat to economic recovery - must be heeded.

In comments that appear to contradict Chancellor George Osborne's defence of the programme, Mr Clegg said: "If Mark Carney - in view of his concerns about the housing market - thinks we should scale back on some of those schemes, that's exactly what we should do."

Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports.

Carney 'absolutely right' Britain needs more houses

The Bank of England has the powers to prevent a new housing "bubble" developing, the Prime Minister said, after its governor Mark Carney suggested it was the biggest risk to economic recovery.

Prime Minister David Cameron agrees that Britain needs to build more houses. Credit: PA

Speaking to Sky's Murnaghan programme, David Cameron said: "We have given the Bank of England the duty to make sure that bubbles are dealt with in the economy. They have all the powers they need to do that.

"He (Mr Carney) is absolutely right when he says fundamentally we need to build more houses in Britain".

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