Belfast Telegraph

Bank 'should delay housing moves'

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

The boss of Britain's biggest building society has called for the Bank of England to delay any action to cool the housing market with prices outside the capital still well off pre-crisis levels.

Nationwide chief executive Graham Beale made the remarks as the lender reported record underlying pre-tax annual profits which more than doubled to £924m as gross mortgage lending rose 31% to £28.1bn. He said this was not a one-off and the business was "firing on all cylinders".

But he said "frenetic" housing market activity in London was starting to ease off while elsewhere in the country prices remained 2% below 2007 levels – or 21% when adjusted for inflation.

There is speculation the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee will next month take action to cool the market, after deputy governor Sir Jon Cunliffe warned it was the brightest of "blinking warning lights" of risk.

Belfast Telegraph