Buyers lose out on house price wager

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The Independent Online

The bank said 21 per cent of people admitted to having recently put off a property purchase on the grounds that housing was overpriced. But three-quarters of these home buyers were subsequently caught out when house prices rose further - by an average of almost £34,000 amongst buyers surveyed by Alliance & Leicester.

Stephen Leonard, A&L's director of mortgages, said he believed 15 per cent of would-be house buyers were currently waiting for a drop in prices. At least a third of these potential purchases are prepared to wait five years or more for a housing market setback.

"In recent years, the majority of those who waited to see if house prices would fall before buying found that they had waited in vain because prices rose," Leonard said. "It remains to be seen whether waiting will pay off going forward."

Figures published this week by the Land Registry showed house prices have continued to rise this year, despite the widespread perception of a property market slowdown.

The Government agency said prices were 3.5 per cent higher for the three months to the end of September compared to the same time last year.

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