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Housing Loans

Volume 888: debated on Monday 10 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many district councils are charging more than 11 per cent, interest rates on mortgage loans for house purchase; and what are the numbers which have increased their interest rates over the past six months.

Local authorities are not required to notify my Department of their current mortgage rates, or of an intention to alter them.From the information available to me, I understand that 42 housing authorities may now be charging, or intend to charge, a variable mortgage rate above 11 per cent.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider providing finance to local authorities to enable them either to maintain, or reduce, their housing lending rates to 11 per cent., in order to assist the purchase of property by first-time buyers.

I am very much aware of the problem of high local authority mortgage rates, and I am anxious to find a solution. But I do not regard a Government subsidy as appropriate. First priority in public expenditure on housing must be given to other aspects of housing policy, such as new building, social ownership and improvement.