Star comment: Stability needed in housing market and the economy

House prices have dipped following the disastrous mini-budget and the economic challenges facing the UK.

That’s not a surprise considering the rise in mortgage rates and a dip in confidence. People who’d been looking to move into the market have been put off, either because they can no longer afford it or because they no longer see it as being a wise decision financially.

A cooling off of the market will not be a bad thing, however. The housing market has continued to swell over a long period of time and if we enter a period of years where the market is more stable, many will be pleased.

In recent years, first-time buyers have faced an impossible task of getting on the ladder as prices have grown quicker than they can save for a deposit. Presently, mortgage rate repayments are increasing in much the same way, more quickly than their wages.

While that stability on house values is welcome, we must avoid a sharp downturn in values, which has previously happened during a boom-and-bust cycle.

Rishi Sunak needs to seek stability and a recovery from recession that can bring back confidence and ultimately bring down inflation, stabilise interest rates and put our economy on an even keel. There is considerable work to do and the recent mismanagement of the economy must be rectified, which will be expensive and painful for many. It is, however, a task that the nation must undertake.

The truth is that the nation is in a phase of damage limitation. A number of factors, from Brexit to Covid, from the War in Ukraine to inflation, have caused economic shocks. It will take a long time to recovery. We must seek to limit the damage.

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It’s the 40th birthday of Channel 4.

An innovation that was ahead of its time, it has added another dimension to UK television – despite a few dud programmes along the way.

It’s also a political football, of course, and every few years there are those who suggest it should be shut down, the most recent being Nadine Dorries.

Yet it remains popular, it continues to perform well financially, it creates compelling television – usually – and provides increased choice for viewers.

We should hope that it continues to innovate, regardless of the outcome of the debate over possible privatisation.

Channel 4 has been a force for good. It’s provided left-field shows, helped to break new talent, provided an alternative source of news and been able to stand on its own two feet. We should cherish it and hope it continues to excel.

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