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News - 2 January 2009
Housing still in a bear market

House price decline unabated

The Halifax Building Society has reported that UK house prices declined by 2.2% in December and RICS predicts a further 10% in 2009.

According to the Halifax Index, this brings the average price of a UK home down to just under £160,000 the same level as August 2004. Prices in the Index show a 16.2% decline over the year from December 2007. In Brighton & Hove the average property costs just under £221,000 in quarter 3 of 2008 (see earlier story).

Meanwhile the Bank of England has reported that mortgage approvals fell to a nine-year low in November at 27,000. In cash terms that represents less than a tenth of the amount seen in the same month in 2007.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is forecasting that house prices are set to fall a further ten per cent this year.

The institute's housing market forecast published today, predicts a decline of 25 per cent from the peak recorded in summer 2007.

As well as a ten per cent price drop RICS also predicts there will be a further big decline in house building. The surveyors suggest that housing starts will plunge from their already depressed level of 110,000 this year to under 80,000 in 2009, far short of the government target of building two million homes by 2016.

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