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Lenders admit it is pointless to predict price movements

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has admitted it has given up trying to predict house price movements in 2008.

Earlier in the year, the CML predicted that property prices would fall by 7 per cent during 2008 but recent reports suggest that prices have already fallen by more than 10 per cent.

The CML says: “Clearly, our last forecast now underestimates the extent to which property values are set to adjust by the end of 2008.”

It says there is now even more uncertainty as a result of widespread turmoil in financial markets, with the impact on consumer sentiment, household finances and the broader economy.

The CML says: “We think it is futile to give an update at this stage of the year.”

Nationwide says it sympathises with the CML. Earlier this month, chief executive Graham Beale predicted that house prices would drop by 25 per cent in 2008 but the building society says it will not try and elaborate further.

A Nationwide spokesman says: “We have our monthly house price index, obviously, but we will not make any further forecasts until the market settles down.

“It is a difficult arena to make predictions when no one knows what is going to happen from one day to the next in markets.”

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