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Savills predicts prime recovery

Savills Private Finance is predicting a recovery in the prime mortgage market, with London leading the way.

It forecasts growth of 6 per cent in prime London markets and 4 per cent in prime markets across the country this year compared with 2 per cent growth in the mainstream sector.

Savills processed 32 1m-plus mortgages in January and February compared with 16 in the same period last year and 17 in January and February 2003.

Head of residential res-earch Richard Donnell says the prime market has always led any slowdown in housing. He says the prime sector is a lead indicator for the rest of the market although it is driven less by mortgages and more by equity and sentiment.

Donnell says: “As the prime housing markets have led the slowdown, we expect them to be the first to recover. Quality and location are the two important factors.”

Hamptons International Mortgages associate director Jonathan Cornell says: “I would not be as bullish as Richard. There is activity in the Home Counties and M4 corridor but not as much as you would expect of a typical spring.”

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