BoE's Haldane: not time to slam brakes on housing market

LONDON Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:55am EST

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LONDON Dec 13 (Reuters) - The recovery in Britain's housing market was taking hold across the country but it was too early for strong intervention to prevent any bubbles, a senior Bank of England official said on Friday.

BoE director of financial stability, Andrew Haldane, said one of the most immediate risks on the horizon was the housing market, which was "warming up at a rate of knots" across the whole country.

Rapid rises in house prices have sparked concern about the risk of a future bubble as well as rising living costs at a time of stagnant wages.

"It's early days. Now would not be the time to be slamming on the brakes on the housing market or any other market. We are in the very early phase of recovery," Haldane told BBC Radio West Midlands.

He added that now might be the time to ease off the accelerator and referred to the BoE's decision last month to end an incentive for banks to grant more home loans.

Haldane, in the West Midlands to "take the temperature" of local businesses, said it was good news that the economy has picked up in recent months and banks are now "somewhat more robust", as evidenced in their lending.

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