The Week Ahead: House prices very much in focus as new data comes online


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The Independent Online

House prices are always a topic of conversation but property prices will be very much in focus this week, as a fresh raft of data on the sector is released and the housebuilder Persimmon updates the market.

Nationwide and Halifax will both deliver house price measures for June, with market watchers keen to see if the recent slowdown in mortgage lending has reined in surging prices.

The Bank of England will also reveal June household borrowing figures, with Investec forecasting mortgage approvals will remain steady at 62,500.

On Wednesday the housebuilder Persimmon has a trading update. Investors are betting on continued bullish performance – the entire sector rallied strongly last week after the Bank of England announced what were seen as lenient controls on mortgage lending.

Today is set to be quiet with no notable updates. Borders & Southern Petroleum and Faroe Petroleum will hold their AGMs.

Tuesday sees first-half trading statements from Ocado and St Modwen Properties. The consensus in the City is £32.6m in pre-tax earnings at Ocado.

Anite, the provider of software to the leisure industry, delivers finals on Wednesday, while Topps Tiles and the construction management specialist Carillion both have trading statements. Carillion has been undergoing a restructure but won £3bn worth of contracts in the first half. Iain Armstrong at Brewin Dolphin says: “The worst effects of the downsizing are now over, while the upside from the new contract wins are not reflected in the share price”.

Home Retail Group, owner of Argos and Homebase, has its AGM on Wednesday, as does the investment firm BH Global.

The pub group and brewer Greene King publishes full-year figures on Thursday. Investec forecasts a pre-tax profit of £173.2m and predicts that the company will have had a bullish start to the current year, thanks to the World Cup and good weather.

The cyber security specialist NCC Group also has finals, while the construction group Kier meets with investors.

The week comes to a quiet close, with no significant corporate updates slated for Friday and a holiday in the US.