Governor Mark Carney confirmed banks could be made to limit the amount of money they are allowed to lend amid fears that the country is heading for a house price "bubble".
The move follows proposals by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to impose caps on bank lending, the term of a mortgage, and the amount people can borrow in relation to their deposit or their income. The measures would kick in if house price rises exceeded 5% in any year, RICS says.
Mr Carney told the Treasury select committee of MPs yesterday that in an extreme situation the Bank could force lenders to set aside more capital, which would reduce the amount they were able to lend. He added that would only be considered if tighter supervision of mortgage lenders did not work.
But housing standards campaigners in Scotland say talk of a boom is premature, and warn making it more difficult to borrow would lead to a cut in the supply of homes, and make it harder for people to get on to the housing ladder.
Sarah Speirs, of RICS Scotland, said: "This cap would send a clear and simple statement to the public and the banking sector, managing expectations as to how much future house prices are going to rise. We believe firmly anchored house price expectations would limit excessive risk-taking and, as a result, limit an unsustainable rise in debt."
But Alan Ferguson, of the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, the housing standards campaigners, warned moves to restrict lending would affect housebuilding at a time when "we need to build more". He said: "Lenders should be encouraged to lend - they've held back too many people."
John Kelly, managing partner with Corum Property, added: "We have to take some of the hype out of this because we seem to have moved ... from doom and gloom four months ago to a boom phase already. Business has improved but it is far from booming."