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Volume 959: debated on Friday 1 December 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in the light of the recent increase in property prices, he will authorise an increase in the mortgage advance limit by authorities outside the Greater London area from £13,000 to £15,000.

The £13,000 limit is designed to direct local authority lending towards properties at the lower end of the market. The average local authority advance between April and September this year in the South-East region outside Greater London was £7,500. This compares with an average building society advance of £11,800—all borrowers—or £11,100—first-time borrowers. I see no reason to increase the limit.