Sean O'Grady: Fall in house prices is cause for celebration

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The Independent Online

Why the long faces? House prices have fallen at their fastest rate since 1992 - good.

This is precisely what ought to happen. The market has been long overdue a correction and it will be a huge relief for struggling first time buyers. OK, they'll find it tougher to get a 100 per cent mortgage, but what's so bad about the old fashioned method of saving for a deposit, which will show you can afford the repayments?

The plain truth is that property prices couldn't continue rising at such a dizzy rate indefinitely, and nor was it healthy for people to rely on the equity in their homes to fund their consumption. Negative equity is coming back, but it's important not to exaggerate it; many householders, after all, have no mortgage debt at all. It's also only really a problem if you're forced to sell - not impossible if the economy does go into a slump, but if not we're only looking at "paper losses".

Looking at the volume of new build/regeneration flats being built in our cities there will soon plenty of flats to choose, all at bargain prices bellyflopping into a declining market. It's a classic case of capitalist oversupply. If you can raise a mortgage over the next year or two take full advantage of the buying opportinities. That dream loft apartment may soon be yours.

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