§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any information as to the current incidence of gazumping; what effect this is likely to have on house prices; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeson
I have heard reports of instances of "gazumping" but I have no evidence that this practice is widespread. "Gazumping", of itself, should not affect prices: it is an unpleasant symptom of demand exceeding supply. The Government, with the building societies, are closely monitoring levels of lending for 33W house purchase with particular reference to trends in prices. Building societies are fully aware of the need to avoid excessive increases.