Star comment: Government must guard against housing crash as interest plummets

House prices are continuing to rise, according to new figures. As two separate stories in today's newspaper show, some will view that rise with optimism, while others will be pessimistic.

The West Midlands has seen a rise in property values of some 13.5 per cent in the last year. The average property price now stands at £253,871, putting our region fifth nationally, behind regions in the south east and the south west.

And yet, homebuyer inquiries are falling at the steepest rate since the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The cost of crisis and wider economic challenges are affecting market conditions and people are increasingly deciding that now is not the time to move.

Interest rates are rising, making mortgages more expensive, and unless the Government moves quickly to solve the energy crisis, people will lose their homes. Businesses will collapse and householders will be unable to keep up with mortgages.

For the housing market, amber lights are flashing. The early signs of danger are clear. History shows the housing market tends to correct itself suddenly when it overheats.

With interest rates rising, businesses struggling and the nation heading towards recession, we may be on the edge of such a correction.

Those thinking of investing in property must take into account the possibility of a correction and ensure they can cope with all eventualities.

Stability in the housing market is enormously important. The Government must guard against a crash, while also making good on unkept promises to deliver affordable homes for those unable to get on the property ladder.

Today, finally, some kind of reassurance has been offered to people frightened witless by the prospect of surging fuel bills.

The solution is to kick the can down the road, paying the debt off at a later date.

Today’s announcement is to be welcomed. But it should have been made weeks ago.

Financial expert Martin Lewis has spoken repeatedly – and increasingly angrily – of the mental health crisis caused by the worry of household finances.

The idea that people may not be able to eat or heat their homes is frightening.

It is not a concept either shared or understood by most MPs in Westminster.

And the Tory leadership candidates were too busy sparring at hustings as Boris sat on the beach to get serious and come up with an agreed early plan.

Instead, needless fear and anxiety has been allowed to spread around the country.

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