House Prices To Rise By 20%

Source: The International Express
Published: 10 – 16 August 2010
By Donna Bowater

A £30,000 hike in cost of average family home

House prices are set to soar by almost 20 per cent in the next four years, according to experts.

This will lift thousands of households out of negative equity, with the average family home gaining more than £30,000 in value.

The forecast defies doom-mongers who predicted Britain would face a double-dip housing recession.

Martin Gahbauer, chief economist at the Nationwide building society, said: “It’s not a double dip and it’s not a massive boom, which would not be good for the market. People can be cautiously optimistic. If it turns out that way, it would probably lift quite a few people out of negative equity within two to three years.”

And Emma Partridge of Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, said there was further good news for home owners.

She said: “Because this is happening at the same time as low interest rates, it’s providing people with the opportunity to pay more to improve their equity. And if there aren’t going to be any further drops in house prices then that enables people to bolster their equity as well.”

Last year, after house prices tumbled, almost a million households were left in negative equity, with their property’s value less than the amount they owed on their mortgage.

According to the respected Centre for Economics and Business Research, a “fundamental shortage of housing supply” will steadily drive up prices this year and next, with a further five per cent increase expected in 2012.

The growth is due to continue with a 5.4 per cent increase in 2013 followed by a 3.9 per cent rise in 2014.

Based on the latest estimates, the average price of a home in Britain would rise from £179,000 at the end of 2010 to £212,000 by 2014.

The figures suggest the housing market will weather the storm of public spending cuts, which had raised concerns that the sector could face another downturn.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “This just shows there is confidence out there from people who should know what they’re talking about, that investing in property is good. It gives people that little bit of confidence in the UK economy.”

But he warned Britain faced a shortage of homes on the market.

“Last year, fewer properties were built in this country that at any time since the Second World War,” he said. “Population growth will continue but more importantly, household formations are going to continue to grow. We’re nowhere near catching up.”

The CEBR’s Consumer And Housing Prospects report, which also predicted the number of monthly mortgage approvals would jump from 51,000 this year to 80,000 in 2014, quelled concerns that the market was struggling to recover.

It said “doomsayers” who claimed the recent drop in prices was the start of another crash had “got it wrong”.

The rebuff came after a report from the National Institue of Economic and Social Research said the housing market would fall by eight per cent in real terms over five years.

Nationwide’s house price index for July had also suggested a 0.5 per cent drop.

Benjamin Williamson, one of the CEBR report authors, cautioned there would not be a “return to dizzying house prices any time soon”.

“Our forecasts show that house prices are unlikely to reach 2007 levels before 2013,” he said.