But estate agents say that the lack of finance for new buyers could hamper a recovery in the housing market
Gráinne Gilmore, Economics Correspondent
In a further boost for the economy, high street retailers have reported a bumper June as the heatwave boosted demand for summer food, shoes and clothes.
Like-for-like sales rose by 1.4 per cent in the year to June, figures from the British Retail Consortium show.
However, the shine was taken off such positive figures by a leading policymaker, who said that while the economy probably had hit rock bottom, the recovery would be a “long haul”.
Charlie Bean, deputy governor of the Bank of England, also highlighted uncertainties in the property market, where buyers are still struggling to obtain mortgages.
He said: “It’ll take some time before banks feel in a position to lend more money.”
An influential committee of MPs, meanwhile, said that the Treasury’s scheme to boost mortgage lending was “doomed to fail”.
The Communities and Local Government Select Committee said that lack of mortgage finance was a contributing factor in the lack of activity in the housing market, but it said that the Treasury’s Asset-backed Guarantee Scheme (ABS) was not enough.
Estate agents also sounded concerns that the lack of finance for new buyers could hamper a recovery in the market.
Jeremy Leaf, a RICS spokesman, said: “It is unlikely that there will be a sustained upturn while mortgage lenders remain risk averse.” (Grainne Gilmore, The Times) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6703035.ece
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