Same old, same old or confusion over house prices
Tony Ward is managing director of Home Funding
Once again we have conflicting data reported by commentators regarding house prices for 2012.
You have the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggesting house prices increased by 2.1% on the year to November against both Halifax and Nationwide’s view reporting house prices fell by 0.3% and 1% on average in 2012. So who’s right?
Maybe this is inevitable as it is well known that the ONS, Halifax and Nationwide have different ways of recording the data so you can argue that there are bound to be variations.
Having said that, I would expect the trend to be similar amongst housing economists and I’m not sure this was always the case last year.
So house prices up or down for 2013?
Well some cheery news from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting that members believe that house sales will rise in the first three months.
Some surveyors seem to be so bold as to suggest that in some parts of the country we are indeed ‘over the worst’.
Well, apart from London and the South East which has always reflected something of a price bubble, I’m not so sure that these predictions can be validated elsewhere.
Whilst it’s true that unemployment is falling the economy remains depressed with confidence running low and limited growth in wages expected.
So being more realistic I truly believe that the property market will remain tough for 2013.
Having said that I really think that the Funding for Lending Scheme is starting to do its job and increase the availability of mortgages which is no bad thing.
Also lenders are starting to look at assisting first-time buyers with increasing their product ranges to incorporate higher LTV loans. So the supply is there.
I’m just not so sure if the demand will match it.