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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Property market confidence ebbs
A couple looking in an estate agents window
Is time being called on the UK housing market?
Confidence in Britain's property market has dipped for the third month in succession, the latest Woolwich Mortgage Index survey reveals.


We are seeing the housing market starting to cool and can expect more moderate growth in the coming months

Andy Gray, Woolwich
The proportion of homeowners tipping prices to keep on rising fell a touch, from 59% to 57%, over the past three months.

Those in the south-west were the most confident, with 66% feeling optimistic about the market's prospects.

Scottish home buyers were the most doom-laden: less than half - 48% - of those surveyed felt cheerful about the direction of house prices.

Lending down

New mortgage lending has taken more of a hit: it fell 4% during August, according to the Woolwich.

This is the first monthly fall since 1999.

Nevertheless, new mortgage lending has increased sharply by 23% when compared with the figure a year ago.

Despite the jitters, borrowers were willing to take on 20.2bn of mortgage debt in August compared with 16.4bn a year ago.

"We are seeing the housing market starting to cool and can expect more moderate growth in the coming months," said Andy Gray, head of lending at the Woolwich.

See also:

03 Sep 02 | Business
30 Aug 02 | Business
14 Aug 02 | Business
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