Halifax and Nationwide silent on 2009 house prices

| December 21, 2008
Halifax and Nationwide silent on 2009 house prices

Such is the state of the UK housing market and economy that Halifax and Nationwide are opting out of making house price forecasts for 2009, although Halifax blames its merger with Lloyds TSB for its abstinence.

Both lenders will continue to publish their monthly indices, which in the case of Halifax showed a 14.9% annual decline in November, slightly ahead of Nationwide’s 13.9% fall.

Those who have ventured an opinion on the future direction of residential property prices include Barclays’ chief executive, John Varley, who expects a drop of up to 15% during 2009.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Economics and Business Research is predicting a maximum 20% decline in prices, from the market peak last summer.

Based on this assumption, the average house price will fall to £157,000 by Christmas of next year, at which point prices will have reverted to 2004 levels.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders described house price forecasts as “futile” back in September and its predictions for 2009 are reserved for repossessions and mortgages in arrears, which it expects to rise to 75,000 and 500,000 respectively.

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