We Need Help to Ease Credit Crisis; FINANCE: Revival of Mortgage Lending Would Get Properties Moving

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Byline: By Andy Hutson, BUSINESS EDITOR

PLANS to revive mortgage lending have been overwhelmingly welcomed by a Coventry and Warwickshire property expert.

A report commissioned by the Treasury suggesting the government may have to guarantee billions of pounds worth of mortgage bonds to ease the credit crisis.

Harvey Williams, Coventry and Warwickshire regional spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said any assistance in easing the log-jam would help get the residential property market moving in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Figures out this week revealed the number of mortgages approved for house purchase dived by nearly 70 per cent during the past year to hit a new record low.

Bank of England data showed that just 36,000 new loans were arranged for people moving house during June as the credit crunch continued to tighten its stranglehold on the mortgage market.

The level of approvals was 68 per cent lower than in June last year, and fell by 12 per cent compared with the previous month, to be the lowest since the bank's records began in 1993.

The government-commissioned report on mortgage financing warned that the market would not return to normal for another two to three years.

The review, led by the former head of the Halifax Bank of Scotland, Sir James Crosby, said there was no quick fix to ease the logjam in home loan funding and stopped short of providing any firm solutions to the problems. …