Carney: 'House Prices Biggest Risk To Economy'
The British housing market has "deep, deep" problems, according to the Governor of the Bank of England.
In an interview with Sky's Murnaghan show, Mark Carney warned that rising house prices represented the biggest current risk to the economy.
He added that the number of large mortgages being approved to house buyers was on the rise and that the UK was in need of new house building.
Mr Carney said: "The issue around the housing market in the UK ? is there are not sufficient (numbers of) houses (being) built."
Asked if more houses need to be built, Mr Carney replied: "That would help us out.
"We're not going to build a single house at the Bank of England. We can't influence that.
"What we can influence? is whether the banks are strong enough. Do they have enough capital against risk in the housing market?"
Mr Carney said they could also check lending procedures "so people can get mortgages if they can afford them but they won't if they can't".
"By reinforcing both of those we can reduce the risk that comes from a housing market that has deep, deep structural problems," he added.
Mr Carney said there was evidence that large mortgages, where lenders approve loans of more than four times people's salaries, are on the rise again.
"We don't want to build up another big debt overhang that is going to hurt individuals and is very much going to slow the economy in the medium term," he said.
"We'd be concerned if there was a rapid increase in high loan-to-value mortgages across the banks. We've seen that creeping up and it's something we're watching closely."
In an separate interview for Murnaghan, David Cameron admitted the Government needed to build more houses and said Mr Carney was "absolutely right".
However, he added: "The building of houses is going up. If you talk to any housing developer at the moment or builder they will tell you that the help to buy scheme the Government has put in place has been hugely helpful in bringing forward more development or house building.
"We are training apprentices in the building trade to make sure that we can deliver on these houses but we do need more, yes."
But shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the Government's Help to Buy scheme, designed for those who can afford mortgage repayments but not a large deposit, was making the problem worse and should be reformed.
He said: "The Governor's comment that the Bank of England can't build a single home puts the ball firmly in George Osborne's court to act on housing supply."
And he added: "Unless the Government acts, the danger is that the Bank of England will be forced to raise interest rates prematurely."
Last week, Mr Carney surprised many by playing down the chances of an imminent rise in interest rates despite fears of a growing house price bubble.
But he admitted the issue was the biggest current threat to the economy.
"The biggest risk to financial stability, and therefore to the durability of the expansion, centres on the housing market and that's why we're focused on that," he said.
Prices are currently rising at more than 10% a year across the country. Analysis by Sky News has shown the number of £1m properties has doubled since 2008.
Both the coalition and Labour are committed to building hundreds of thousands of new homes but construction still lags behind Government targets.
In an interview with Andrew Marr, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg indicated the Help to Buy scheme could be "pared back" if the housing market started to overheat.