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Boulger questions shock report on affordability

John Charcol senior technical director Ray Boulger has attacked a Government report warning that house prices will be 10 times average incomes by 2026.

The report from the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, a Government agency launched last week, predicts that only 40 per cent of people between 30 and 34 will be able to afford a home by 2026 compared with 57 per cent today.

It says the Government’s aim for a total of 190,000 new homes a year is not enough as an estimated 223,000 new households are created each year.

But Boulger says: “To talk about house prices being 10 times more than a person’s wage is unrealistic. If the idea of the report is to shock people and the Government, that is fine but I am surprised if they are serious about it.

“Things will happen in the market to stop that happening. We are already getting to a stage when house prices will soon slow down. The market will adjust before we get to the stage they are talking about. We need more than 225,000 households a year. The Government has said it will boost new builds from 170,000 to 200,000 but this demonstrates it is not giving it enough attention. We need to create around 250,000 houses.”


Aviva chief to work for charity in Africa

Aviva chief executive Richard Harvey will spend a year in Malawi and Kenya with the sustainable development charity Concern Universal when he quits his job next month and will work with his wife Kay Harvey in rural communities on a range of projects.

Jam tomorrow

It is a commonly held assumption that choice is a good thing but is it? Research carried out by Columbia and Stanford universities claims that people are now suffering from choice overload.In one experiment, two sets of consumers were offered free tastings of jam. One group were offered six jams to choose from and the […]

Insurance Helpline link-up aims to boost diabetic cover

Specialist broker Insurance Helpline has teamed up with pharmaceutical giant Abbott Diabetes Care to help people with pre-existing diabetic conditions get cover.Abbott produces FreeStyle blood glucose monitoring systems to help people control their condition.Insurance Helpline, which is a subsidiary of Totally Insured Group, will supply monitoring systems free to any person with diabetes who asks […]

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David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.


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