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Five Questions About: House prices in 2013


Are prices finally going to start rising again?

Experts are divided, but most predict a relatively flat market. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says there'll be a 2 per cent climb in property prices during 2013, while the estate agent Savills reckons there'll be a more modest 0.5 per cent rise.

So it still won't be a good time to sell?

It's impossible to know the best time to sell or buy a home. The simple rule is to not bet on future market changes and just buy what you can afford. As long as you're moving in the same area then relative price climbs or falls should be the same.

What about if I'm moving to a different area? What will be the hot spots?

It looks like 2013 will be a repeat of the past few years, with sought-after areas, such as central London, holding their prices or showing small gains, while others continue to fall in price. In London, prices in 22 boroughs reached new peaks in 2012, according to one house price survey.

Where are prices falling?

Northern England, the Midlands and Wales all experienced falling prices last year, down 8.5 per cent in Darlington, for instance, and that's set to continue this year, say experts.

So no change then?

Not really, unless something dramatic and unexpected occurs to boost home prices.