Lunchtime news April 19

The Mirror reports on the scandal of ‘buy to leave’ – rented property left empty by speculators – and quotes Yvette Cooper calling for action by local authorities.

Lenders are withdrawing their fixed rate mortgages ahead of an expected rate rise, reports the Guardian. Is a property crash on the way?

Leading housebuilder Taylor Woodrow has been forced to hand back its affordable housing allocation from the Housing Corporation, reports Inside Housing.

Many councils have vastly underestimated the amount of refurbishment work required to meet the 2017 decent homes target, reports Inside Housing.

Inside Housing also reports on Tony Blair‘s legacy for social housing – it will make better reading for the prime minister than much of his recent press – and priorities for his successor.

The new issue of LPW is published today, with stories including our exclusive affordability index already getting coverage elsewhere. Go here, and here for more. Other features include Britain’s hottest property (it’s a council house), exclusive research into repossessions by sub-prime lenders, Nick Raynsford and John Hills reaction to the Hills review of social housing and contributors including Richard Ingrams and Jake Arnott. Go here to subscribe.