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Bank of England policymaker addresses North East Property Forum in Darlington
ESTATE agents in the North-East have heard from a senior Bank of England policymaker that there is reason for optimism over the country’s economic recovery.
David Miles of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) addressed agents at the North East Property Forum held at Lingfield Point in Darlington.
The event formed part of a series of forums organised by The Northern Echo, Latimer Hinks solicitors and Recognition PR to allow property sellers from the residential and commercial sectors to meet and discuss the issues facing their industry.
Mr Miles was visiting the region as part of regular fact finding missions made by MPC members to understand the challenges faced by regional businesses and householders.
His attendance at the forum followed a visit to Newcastle where Mr Miles said he supported the Bank's current policy of keeping interest rates low.
He told The Northern Echo afterwards that the rates are likely to remain low for the foreseeable future to help the economy grow.
He said: “I was here to listen and learn about what conditions look like in the North-East rather than me telling people about how things are in London.
“We have seen some good optimistic economic news from most regions of the UK over the last six months.
“I am certainly more optimistic than I was this time last year that it looks as though we might be on a better path for the economy with the possibility of a sustained recovery.
“But these are early days.
“We (The Bank of England) are not going to be increasing bank rates until a recovery that has just got going has been strong and sustained enough to make a significant dent in the level of unemployment.
“That is our plan, as long as inflation doesn’t start heading in the wrong direction.”
The housing market is used as an indicator of economic growth and some of the region’s biggest housebuilders, including Barratt Developments, Persimmon and Galliford Try, have reported that demand for new homes has strengthened this year.
The market has been given a lift by schemes such as Help to Buy, which allows people to buy a new-build home with a five per cent deposit.
The Government's Funding for Lending scheme has also been credited with lowering the cost and boosting the availability of home loans.
In addition, property firms took advantage of the slump in land prices during the recession which enabled them to acquire plots at bargain rates.
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