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Why housing minister is planning for boom not bust

Speaking during an interview with The Sunday Times last weekend, Beckett said the government was already worrying about the next housing boom, and was intervening to ensure any recovery in prices does not squeeze people out of the market.

Her surprising comments mirror claims by Baroness Vadera, the business minister, who last week claimed that she could see the "green shoots" of economic recovery.

Beckett declared that there are "indications" of an "upturn" in interest in buying property despite the continuing slump in prices. Although Beckett emphasised that the signs of recovery were "quite recent and anecdotal", she made clear that they were being taken seriously by the government. "We're hearing indications of certainly a maintenance of customer interest, possibly even a bit of a pickup."

She said she had heard evidence of recovery from some estate agents, and questioned why banks were not reacting to signs of revival of the market. "Some people have been saying the appetite to buy has gone through the floor, but clearly we've had this anecdotal evidence of a bit of an upturn in interest."

Becketts comments mirror recent research by propertyfinder.com, which shows that there has been a 40 per cent uplift year on year - and a fifty per cent increases month on month - in buyer interest - although this only shows that buyers are still interested in property, not that they are actually buying.

 


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