Lunchtime news June 1

All six Labour deputy leadership candidates tell today’s Inside Housing (see here too) that they back the ‘fourth option‘ of direct investment in council housing.

The three new statutory tenancy deposit schemes have protected the deposits of 66,000 tenants worth £58m in its first two months of operation, according to new figures released yesteday by the DCLG.

The Housing Corporation has published a new guidance note it says will release high-performing housing associations from detailed regulation and a new policy on resident involvement as well as a set of regional reviews.

London is facing a serious shortage of specialist supported accommodation. A joint report by the National Housing Federation, Mayor of London and the Housing Corporation says almost 6,000 places will be needed in the next 10 years for vulnerable and socially-excluded people.

The housing market is clearly softening in the wake of interest rate rises, according to a market commentary published by the CML [downloads PDF] today. The Nationwide said yesterday that house price inflation rose again in May to 10.3% but that the market was weakening.

First-time buyers now account for just 10.3% of sales, according to the National Association of Estate Agents. The April figure was down from 12.6% in March – and 29% in 2000.

Today’s papers, including the Times, interpret the fall in mortgage approvals reported by the Bank of England. as another sign of decline. The Independent weighs up the mixed evidence in a longer feature.

Gordon Brown must look at tax reform to curb the growth in buy to let, says the Guardian in a leader today.