Bank of England policymaker sees no mortgage boom

BANK OF England policymaker Ben Broadbent said it was not surprising that the housing market was recovering along with the rest of the economy and he did not see troubling levels of credit growth.

“What really matters is not just house prices per se but whether there is a lot of credit growth on back of that. Currently, there isn’t a great deal,” Mr Broadbent told BBC radio. “It’s clearly something the Bank and the Financial Policy Committee will want to keep an eye on.”

House prices jumped about 10 per cent in the 12 months to April, raising concerns about a new bubble in the property market.

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The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) is due to meet next month and many economists expect it may take measures to control credit.

On Wednesday, the BoE’s monetary policymakers signalled they were in no rush to raise interest rates.

Mr Broadbent said the Bank had already taken its foot off the accelerator in terms of reducing encouragement for mortgage credit by focusing its Funding for Lending Scheme exclusively on business lending.

He said the FPC could take measures to ensure that underwriting standards for mortgage lending remain of high quality and that the ratio of loans to incomes and property values do not rise too quickly.

Mr Broadbent also said that when interest rates do rise they would go up gradually.