Property market is going to stay lively

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The Independent Online
HOUSE PRICES will sustain their double-digit growth well into next year, according to two forecasts out today.

Nationwide building society, the UK's number-four mortgage lender, said that housing market inflation would be 11 per cent in 2000, only slightly down from the 13.5 per cent growth seen this year.

David Parry, Nationwide's divisional director, said he expected the buoyant economic outlook and falling unemployment would keep demand high. "Activity is also likely to pick up next year, as more homeowners look to trade up the property ladder, with the number of house sales expected to rise by 7 per cent to 1.58 million," he said. "It would take a severe downturn in the UK economy to endanger the continuing strength of the housing market."

Nationwide expects a more balanced picture to emergenext year, with the rest of the UK catching up on this year's galloping price rises in London and the South-east.

Abbey National is forecasting a similar outlook for 2000, with price inflation at 10 per cent, and a 6 per cent increase in house sales spread more evenly across the UK.