Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Matthew Oakeshott is right to criticise the government's Help to Buy scheme

I have always struggled to see the point of the government's 'Help to Buy' scheme. Yes, young people face a huge problem in affording their first home now, but the answer to that is allow prices to fall. Putting more money into the housing market will ultimately force prices up and make matters worse.

So I was pleased to see Matthew Oakeshott making just this point in the Independent today:
Help to Buy could soon become “Help to Boom and Bust”.
Indeed he extends it by questioning the wisdom of years of near-zero interest rates:
UK house prices remain way above their long-term ratio to average earnings, which are flat as a pancake. But artificially low mortgage interest rates are ticking time bombs under house price affordability and will give millions of home buyers serious grief when the Bank of England phases out quantitative easing, as it eventually must.
Note that the person pursuing these harmful interventions is the free-marketeer George Osborne and the person rightly calling for the market to be allowed to operate is the social democrat Lord Oakeshott.

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

When even the Institute of Directors criticise the scheme for its potential to push up house prices, the government should surely have second thoughts.