House prices set to fall a further 10% in 2009 but Nationwide and Halifax fail to comment

22 December 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
House prices will fall by a further 10 per cent next year and a further three per cent in 2010, bringing the peak to trough fall to 22 per cent, forecasts from Hometrack have revealed.

However, the housing market data provider confessed that: "The rapidly changing outlook means that no-one can accurately predict how much property process will fall in the short to medium term."

This may explain the emerging reports that both Nationwide Building Society and Halifax will not be making their end of year and 2009 predictions which usually run alongside their monthly forecasts.

Halifax is soon to become part of Lloyds Banking Group, which is why, according to reports, it feels it would be inappropriate to make predictions for next year.

According to Hometrack, "There are a range of diverse scenarios for the economy in terms of the prospects for growth, inflation and borrowing which could result in very different outcomes for the housing market."

The predictions would mean that affordability in terms of average debt servicing costs on a par with the lows seen in the early 1990s. Commenting, Richard Donnell, Hometrack's director of research said:

"The housing market saw a total reversal of fortunes in 2008 as homeowners faced a crisis of confidence after a decade of buoyant market conditions. The onset of the credit crunch acted as a catalyst for the fall in both volumes and prices but structural factors have and will continue to play an important part in shaping the current downturn."

Commenting on the fact that asking prices remain unrealistic, he said: "What is clear is that a re-pricing of the housing sector is underway. Prices will remain under downward pressure for the foreseeable future against a backdrop of low turnover and a move away from aspirational to 'needs' based pricing," he added.

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