Secret government notes accidentally revealed by minister on the way to Cabinet meeting

House prices could fall later this year by 5 to 10 per cent “at best”, according to notes accidentally revealed by a government minister.

Caroline Flint

Housing minister Caroline Flint was photographed carrying the briefing documents into a Cabinet meeting.

The notes also said housebuilding figures for 2008/9 were “almost certain” to be well down on the 200,000 extra homes produced in each of the last two years.

“We can’t know how bad it will get,” the notes warned. “But we need to plan now to put in place effective measures against the risk it does get worse and prepare for the up-turn.”

The government will announce a package of measure to assist first time buyers tomorrow, according to the document.

The note concluded in bold, underlined type that it was “vital” the government show that “at this time of uncertainty we show that we are on people’s side”.