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George Osborne plans 'to build 200,000 new homes'

George Osborne pictured tonight at Mansion House.
George Osborne pictured tonight at Mansion House. Credit: Reuters

The Chancellor George Osborne has tonight set out "radical" planning reforms designed to help build up to 200,000 new homes.

The controversial proposals, announced during his annual Mansion House speech, would see councils forced to pre-approve brownfield sites for housing developments.

Mr Osborne also said it was important that the Bank of England was able to act "independently of politics" and take action by itself with new legal powers, to help fix Britain's housing market.

These were expected to be in put place by the end of next May.

"I want to make sure that the Bank of England has all the weapons it needs to guard against risks in the housing market," the Chancellor said.

"I want to protect those who own homes, protect those who aspire to own a home, and protect the millions who suffer when boom turns to bust."

Ed Balls responds to Chancellor's mortgage plans

Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls said:

George Osborne is still failing to tackle the root cause of the housing crisis which is that we are not building enough homes to match rising demand.

Over the last few years Labour has repeatedly called for action on housing supply, but the Chancellor has failed to act.

Under this government housebuilding has reached the lowest peacetime levels since the 1920s.

You can't deal with the cost-of-living crisis and create a strong and balanced recovery without building more homes.

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UKAR 'expects to repay £38.8bn debt in full'

UKAR, the Treasury-owned company set up to wind down the mortgage books of failed lenders Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, says the Government should get back £38.8 billion it is still owed.

The company has already repaid £10.4 billion since 2010, including £5.1 billion in the 15 months up to March 31st of this year.

Announcing the positive results, UKAR said: "A lot of good work has been achieved to date and we expect to repay the remaining £38.3 billion debt in full."

The company said rising housing prices coupled with low interest rates had been "good news for out customers".

Read: Profits rise at treasury-owned 'bad bank' UKAR

Childcare costs 'outstrip mortgage payments'

A file photo of a child playing. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Families are paying more on average for part-time childcare than they spend on their mortgages, according to a new report.

It reveals parents are handing over more than £7,500 a year for childcare for two children, around 4.7% more than the average mortgage bill.

The report, by the Family and Childcare Trust, also suggests that some families maybe spending more on childcare than they do on their weekly shopping

It found that a family with one two-year-old child attending nursery part-time (25 hours a week) and a five-year-old in an after-school club will pay out £7,549 a year on average.

This is higher than the UK average annual UK mortgage, which the report says is £7,207 according to official data.

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Gross mortgage lending increases 29% since July 2012

File photo of houses in south Derbyshire. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The total gross mortgage lending in July increased to £16.6 billion - a rise of 12% from the previous month, according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The figures also represent a 29% increase from July last year and is the highest monthly estimate since October 2008.

Govt 'must develop extended housing strategy'

A report out today is calling for urgent dialogue between government and industry on rebalancing the housing and mortgage markets, with the onus on government to:

  • Develop an overarching housing strategy across all tenures that unites the current, disjointed initiatives
  • Determine a long term vision for home ownership and the extent of its support for the nations ambitions in this area
  • Offer an effective safety net for homeowners facing unexpected adverse changes in circumstance by reforming Support with Mortgage Interest (SMI) or developing public-private sector partnerships
  • Encourage higher rates of home building to improve the balance of supply and demand

Source: Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association

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