Five Questions About: The housing market


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The Independent Online

What has happened to house prices recently?

The housing market has proved resilient, despite weak economic recovery and a deterioration in the outlook for both the UK and global economies.

Figures from Halifax indicate that both house sales and the supply of properties on the market have remained stable since late 2010.

As a result, the average price is almost the same as at the end of last year.

How will the market fare next year?

A third of consumers expect house prices to rise next year, while 28 per cent believe they will fall and a fifth think they will stay the same, the results of a recent survey show.

According to market analysts at Halifax, it is the fifth predicting stability who will probably be proved right.

The mortgage lender expects prices will end 2012 at levels little changed from the beginning of the year.

Will there be any regional discrepancies?

Market watchers expect prices to be strongest in London and the South-east, as these regions have a better chance of performing well economically in 2012.

Weak growth and dependence on public-sector employment are expected to constrain prices in other parts of the country.

What will happen to interest rates?

Halifax expects the Bank of England base rate to remain at its current level of 0.5 per cent until the end of 2012.

What about in the longer term?

According to Halifax, the imbalance between housing supply and demand should support prices, especially as the deficit has widened in recent years due to record low housebuilding levels. Nevertheless, any price growth is likely to remain weak for a few years at least.

This information is provided by in good faith: neither that company nor The Independent can be responsible for its accuracy. It should not be relied upon in any investment decision, for which you should consider professional advice. The price of investments can go up as well as down and past performance cannot be relied upon as a guide to future performance.

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