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News - 4 April 2012

Housing market broadly stable

In a survey by The Halifax, House prices are "broadly stable", despite recording a 2.2% rise between February and March.

However, in the past three months, prices have dropped by just 0.1% and they are now 0.6% lower than they were a year ago, and with current very low level of sales, it means that prices are volatile from month to month.

The Halifax's survey suggests that the average UK home now costs £163,803, almost the same as in July last year.

The volatility of monthly house price movements is highlighted by the fact that last week, the Nationwide building society reported that prices had fallen in March by 1%.

However these left prices 0.9% down on a year ago, at an average of £163,327 - a picture very similar to that of the Halifax.

Separately, Moneyfacts reported that nine lenders had recently reduced the amount of money they were prepared to offer to interest-only borrowers.

Typically the lenders, such as Santander and the Nationwide, will now only agree an interest-only loan worth 50% of the property's value.

Others lenders, such as HSBC, are still prepared to lend more in this form, though they too have reduced the size of the maximum loan they will consider.

This trend is one of several factors suggesting that the mortgage rationing that has been in force since early 2008 is likely to become even more stringent this year.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS says:

“The Bank of England reported that banks and other mortgage lenders were preparing to restrict their lending even more in the coming months, despite expecting to see a rise in demand from potential borrowers.”

If you need any help and advice on the implications of Property Ownership, Letting and Taxation, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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