The good the bad and the bankers.

Last week I shared with you my New Year’s resolution which is to stay positive when all about me are cynical.  Unlike most resolutions in week two of 2011 – this one hasn’t been broken (yet).

In fact earlier this week I woke up to discover more reasons to stay positive.   In the period October to December the economy expanded by 0.4 to 0.5% prompting experts to declare a second recession aka “double dip” highly unlikely. 

Better still manufacturing output is up strongly led by exports – fantastic news for home buyers and house hunters.  To put it simply the Bank of England would be mad to increase interest rates when our economic recovery hinges on exports so we should all be able to look forward to record low interest rates for the foreseeable.

However there are two things out to ruin my positive mood on this chilly winter day.

Firstly the banks.  Whilst they seem loathe to hand out money to us - the hardworking sensible risk adverse general public – they are only to happy to hand it out to each other.  In the midst of a host of banking chiefs who are cashing in their huge Christmas bonuses Bob Diamond the chief executive of Barclays is set to face the Commons Treasury select committee where he is expected to be questioned about a reported eye watering annual bonus of £8m.

In the spirit of positive thinking – I can only hope that this apparent surplus of cash floating around the banking industry will quickly filter down to us mere mortals / owners of the banks.

The second irritation is more political.  Whilst the leaders of our coalition Government seem unable to exercise any power over the banks claiming that “we need a healthy banking system for a healthy economy” (Clegg) they presumably do have some say over our planning system.

Why then did new home planning permissions being granted by local authorities slump to one of the lowest levels in the last five years in 2010?

Answer: because one of the first things the Con Lib coalition did when they took office was scrap new homes targets and announce radical changes to the planning system.

Since then the New Housing Pipeline report shows a steady (and hugely worrying) fall in permissions granted on new homes with a sharp drop in England from more than 40000 permissions in quarter one 2010 to just 31553 in quarter three.

I hate to say it but the Government is doing more than just sitting on a time bomb now it’s made the countdown clock tick an awful lot faster.

Oh well to look on the bright side (as I have pledged to do at all times this year) soon there will be more people than houses in this country and those fortunate to own their own home then will be sitting pretty financially if nothing else.

 It’s when I start to think of those who haven’t yet got a foot on the property ladder that my spirits slump.  Cameron if you want somewhere to live when you leave Number 10 you had better act now.  Help the councils to understand your new incentive system give the country the homes it needs and help me to maintain my positive attitude.  Please.

Sue Warwick National Sales and Marketing Director for Miller Homes