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Housing: Prices

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) in which local authorities in England the average house price is above £225,000; (282398)

(2) whether his Department plans to increase the valuation cap under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.

The property price cap for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme is not set at one national value; the cap varies regionally to reflect the differing level of property prices. These regional property price caps for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme have been set with reference to Q4 2008 lower quartile property prices, reflecting the aim of the scheme to provide targeted support for vulnerable households at risk of homelessness. The level of the caps was increased on 1 May and is now at least 150 per cent. of lower quartile property prices in each region which are comparable to average house prices in all English regions. We have no plans to increase the caps further. Housing Associations already have flexibility to exceed the cap if appropriate depending on households’ individual circumstances.

In the current economic conditions, we have acted rapidly to put in place help and support for households struggling with their mortgage at every stage: from free debt advice when problems start, to free support for cases that reach court. Advice is available to all households struggling with their mortgage, with targeted schemes for those in most need.

Data on average house prices at a local authority level are published quarterly by CLG and can be viewed online at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/table-581.xls