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Activity boost sees 13% rise forecast

Brokers say this month&#39s house price indices tally with their own findings and show signs of a pick-up in the housing market.

London & Country mortgage specialist David Hollingworth says with Nationwide revising its forecast for growth during 2003 up from 10 per cent to 13 per cent, we can look forward to reasonable activity for the rest of the year. Nationwide changed its forecast because Northern regions are showing little sign of a slowdown.

Premier Mortgage Management managing director Mark Mountney says he continues to see a lot of movement in the North, which is driving up prices for the whole country.

Mountney says: “Our findings are pretty much in line with Nationwide and Halifax&#39s August house price indices. Valuations have been fairly flat for some time now but there has been a lot of movement up North which will continue to drive house price inflation.”

Hollingworth says: “Halifax and Nationwide seem to agree this month and what they are saying is good news for the housing market. It seems to be picking up and there is definitely more activity than last quarter. Hometrack is usually seen as being the most downbeat of the surveys but this time, although it is showing no house price inflation, it is showing an increase in activity which can only be good news. I think we can look forward to reasonable activity for the rest of the year but we are unlikely to reach last year&#39s levels.”

Mortgage Intelligence managing director Sally Laker says the key indicator for her is the number of mortgage transactions going through rather than a house price index. She says this shows her whether the housing market is still healthy.


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