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Bank of England moves to calm housing bubble fears

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The Bank of England has moved to calm fears of a house price bubble, releasing a statement outlining how it will intervene if it feels property prices are overheating.

The statement, released after a meeting of the Financial Policy Committee, said mortgage approvals were rising but added that transaction levels and loan-to-value ratios on mortgage levels remained below average.

The Bank said it would continue to monitor the situation closely and would step in if a bubble emerged in the housing market.

“The Committee judged that it should closely monitor developments in the housing market and banks’ underwriting standards,” it said.

“The Committee would be vigilant to potential emerging vulnerabilities. The Committee noted that if risks to the stability of the financial system were to emerge from the housing market, both it and the microprudential regulators had a range of tools available to address those risks.”

Chancellor George Osborne said earlier this year that the Bank of England had a ‘clear red card’ it could use if prices rise dramatically following the introduction of the government’s Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney later stated that the central bank was ‘fully prepared’ to take action against excessive house price inflation.

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