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Gloomy Forecast For Housing Market

Buting and Selling your House


Experts are forecasting a 35% fall in the number of houses sold in England and Wales this year, and have also predicted a 7% drop in average house prices.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that, while the market was shaky, mortgage providers were working to minimise the impact on borrowers.

In October, the CML had said it expected house prices to rise 1% in 2008, with property sales likely to be broadly stable at just over one million.

Its latest forecast puts the number of transactions at 770,000 fewer than last year.

The CML said its outlook for mortgage arrears and repossessions remained unchanged, which reflected the fact that many borrowers coming off fixed rates on to higher rates appeared so far to have "managed the adjustment well".

"The market is still very uncertain," said CML's director general, Michael Coogan, "but lenders are working hard to ensure that borrowers coming off fixed rates remain on track, that arrears and repossessions are minimised, and that pricing is as attractive as they can make it in a market where they must manage the demand for lending with caution."

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