Perhaps one of the most positive outcomes of the recent economic crisis was the message that consumers would benefit from saving more and borrowing more responsibly. So accessible were interest free loans, 105% mortgages and credit accounts that consumers came to believe they could afford anything, irrespective of their financial circumstances.
The Council for Mortgage Lenders have announced a glowing increase in mortgage activity year-on-year for March. Does this represent a storm of people rushing for funding before the Mortgage Market Review ("MMR") provisions came in or is this a representation of how there is an air of financial confidence and prudence in the minds of sellers and buyers alike?
Britain prides itself on its sense of justice, on fair play and sticking up for the underdog. So what's gone wrong? Increasingly, as we look around, we find we're living on Inequality Street. Take, for example, the 2010 austerity programme. In theory the cuts didn't have to target the poorest, but in reality they have. This week The Centre for Welfare Reform published a new report, Counting the Cuts, which measures, not just how large the cuts have been, but also how fair they are, and who is being targeted. The results are shocking.
Help to Buy is bringing homeownership to within touching distance for thousands of younger buyers earlier than they may have thought possible. But it's important to remember that the deposit is just part of the equation and consideration must be given to how much you can afford to borrow - and crucially repay in the years to come.