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Providers slam Pannell claims over house prices

Providers have hit back at Durlacher analyst David Pannell after he claimed in Money Marketing last week that house prices are set to fall by 30 per cent in the next two years and spark a flurry of misselling claims.

Norwich Union has hit out at Pannell&#39s comments that the equity-release market is bound almost inevitably for a misselling scandal, saying that when equity release is sold properly, it is no more likely to provoke misselling claims than any other product.

Mortgage Express says it is strongly opposed to Pannell&#39s view that the buy-to-let bubble is about to burst, saying the quality of buy-to-let lending is very good compared with residential lending and it is very comfortable with its position as the country&#39s biggest BTL lender.

Product development manager Roger Hillier says: “We would be surprised if house prices corrected themselves by 30 per cent in the next two years. Based on our findings, we feel that the bubble is not about to burst and demand for rental properties is expected to remain strong.”

NU marketing manager for equity release Simon McGuinness says: “This sort of comment does not help the equity-release market – it is specifically intended to grab headlines and equity release is an easy target.”

Pannell says: “The problem that all the housing industry has is that they never expect house prices to fall. They do not know and I do not know what is going to happen but it will not work out as rosily as they expect.

“You never get misselling claims until something happens and I think things are going to change once house prices start to fall.”

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