Lunchtime news May 29

House prices in England and Wales rose 9.1% in the year to April – the fastest rate for two years – according to Land Registry figures released this morning. The rate in April 2013 was just 4.1%. London and Brighton led the way with rises of 15.6%.

Gross mortgage lending rose 12% in the year to April, according to the British Bankers Association yesterday.

The net result? Massive mortgages are turning first-time buyers into the equivalent of bonded labourers, according to the Mail, reporting new research from the universities of Aberdeen and Loughborough. They say the housing crisis is leading to a return to the gross inequality seen at the end of the 19th century.

Landlords are starting to bail out of the buy-to-let market because of rising interest rates, according to the Financial Times, reporting the latest RICS lettings survey. But the Telegraph highlights the fact that rents are soaring as a result.

The Telegraph continues its campaign against flats in an article accusing planners of stacking them on every brownfield site they can find.

The Department of Health has announced a £67m refurbishment fund for care homes.

And finally…as Harrogate draws near, stay calm: a cautionary tale from the Scotsman about what can happen at housing conferences.