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Government to intervene to help first time buyers

First time buyers are expected to be among the chief beneficiaries of a government plan to intervene in the housing market. The plan will see the government take mortgage loans off lenders' balance sheets in a bid to reduce constraints on lending in the face of the credit crunch. In return, the mortgage providers have pledged to help borrowers who are struggling to find mortgage deals, including novice house buyers, according to a report from the Financial Times. It is believed that the plan, which still requires government approval, was agreed in principle at Tuesday's meeting between the prime minister Gordon Brown and the chief executives of Lloyds TSB, Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Nationwide. The proposals are believed, however, to contain a caveat whereby all mortgage loans agreed after December will remain on banks' balance sheets. This decision is thought to have been informed by the perception that this could be seen as propping up the new lending market and leaving the tax payer at risk.

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