The Bank of England could get new advisory powers to intervene in Britain’s Help to Buy scheme, aimed at freeing up mortgage lending, if there are signs it is creating a housing bubble.
Critics fear the scheme is stoking an unsustainable housing boom, and the move by U.K. finance minister George Minister is seen as an acknowledgement that Help to Buy might have to be pared back if prices rise rapidly in London and the south-east of England.
Under the proposals the BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will conduct an annual review of the housing sector every September starting next year, after Osborne had originally said the Bank would look at the scheme at the end of its lifespan in January 2017.
The central bank would also be able to recommend a cap on properties eligible for the mortgage plan, currently set at £600,000 ($966,600), to reduce its availability in London where house prices are 8 percent above their 2007 peak.
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