'Seeds of doom' for house price rises

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The Independent Online

House prices are rising at an "unsustainable" rate amid a speculative boom that has echoes of the property fever of the late Eighties, a leading expert warns today.

House prices are rising at an "unsustainable" rate amid a speculative boom that has echoes of the property fever of the late Eighties, a leading expert warns today.

Hometrack, a property website, has doubled its forecast for house price inflation this year to 12 from 6 per cent, the second revision in just three months.

Its latest report, based on a survey of 4,000 estate agents, shows the price of the average home rose by 1.6 per cent in March, following January's 1.4 per cent rise.

John Wriglesworth, the housing economist at Hometrack, said: "House prices are currently rising at an unsustainable annual rate in excess of 15 per cent. There is now a real danger of a speculative and escalating price spiral occurring in the market."

Mr Wriglesworth said the market was on a "cusp". "The danger is only starting and the seeds have been sown for housing market doom," he said.

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