The Bank of England governor showed his frustration at the housing market today, in an unusually open display of irritation at the demands placed on the institution.
Prices are soaring in areas like London – some boroughs have seen prices rise by as much as 30 per cent in the last year – and the rest of the UK is starting to see solid gains in prices.
But Mark Carney can only act to stop risks to banks growing. That is, if it looks like a bubble is emerging in housing and that banks will be hurt when it bursts, he can make them take more precautions.
This morning Carney said that it is not yet time to take that action. But he went further, noting the problem is not that banks are lending too much or that people want to spend too much on houses – it is that too few houses are being built.
“We cannot perform miracles. The Financial Policy Committee will not build a single house, a single one of the 120,000 fewer houses that are being built each year relative to what the economy needs,” Carney said.
“What the FPC can do is to reduce risks that emanate from the housing market, it can help mitigate those risks.”