Morning papers: House prices ‘to rise by a fifth’

House prices will rise by almost a fifth in the next four years, Treasury forecasters have said, adding to fears of a new housing bubble, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility led to warnings that Britain is at risk of repeating the boom and bust that preceded the last financial crisis.

Official warning on debt takes gloss off Chancellor’s boast

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The recovery risks fizzling out because of an over-reliance on debt-fuelled spending, the official Budget watchdog warned yesterday, reports The Times.

Fears about spiralling property prices and household debt tarnished George Osborne’s claim that a doubling of economic growth this year vindicated the coalition’s policies.

Chancellor targets £9bn avoidance tax grab

The government is banking on a £9bn windfall over the next five years from a crackdown on tax avoidance, evasion and fraud, affecting companies as diverse as hedge funds and oil rig leasing firms, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Hailed as the “largest package of measures” so far this Parliament, ministers plan to crush a variety of practices, including companies employing staff via intermediaries to avoid national insurance contributions (NICs) and closing share buy-back loopholes on venture capital trusts (VCTs).

Companies rush to make post-IPO share sales

Newly-listed companies are breaking lock-up restrictions on early share sales at the fastest pace since the dotcom boom, as large shareholders rush to offload their stakes in a booming market for US initial public offerings, reports the Financial Times.

The dash to sell shares soon after a company lists reflects the strong appetite for riskier assets among investors, who have snapped up equity offerings this year as the US Federal Reserve’s emergency stimulus has sent stock markets to record highs.

Blockbuster set to disappear from high street with loss of 1,200 jobs

Blockbuster is likely to disappear from the British high street with the loss of more than 1,200 jobs, after administrators failed to find a buyer for the DVD and games rental chain, reports The Guardian.

A further 62 stores will close from Friday, with 427 job losses, following a spate of closures since the chain went into administration in October for the second time this year.