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Housing: Sales

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the evidential basis was for the statement made by the Minister of State (Housing) that there had been an upturn in the property market in her interview with The Sunday Times on 18 January 2009; who the Minister of State consulted before making this statement; and if she will make a statement. (250234)

The Government recognise that the housing market faces significant challenges.

In my interview with The Sunday Times I did not state that “there has been an upturn in the property market”. I was asked about the state of the housing market. In my reply, I mentioned that a number of recent surveys and professional groups have reported that buyer inquiries are rising, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). However, mortgage availability remains a key barrier.

To help people who are struggling to get onto the housing ladder we introduced the HomeBuy Direct scheme which is designed to help up to 18,000 first time buyers through shared equity. Measures announced by the Chancellor on 19 January are intended to support lending.