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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Sellers' delight at house price outlook
For sale signs
House prices remained strong in April
The housing market - or at least sellers of homes - has welcomed a new wave of confirmation that prices are set to continue climbing.

Despite a slow start to the year, house prices in England and Wales will rise by 7% during 2001, according to the latest report from bankers HSBC.


Falling interest rates and competition among mortgage lenders will keep the market alive and well

Clive Wood
head of mortgages, HSBC
The news comes on top of reports by both the country's largest mortgage lenders - the Halifax and Nationwide - that show house prices already about 7.5% higher than the same time last year.

But the global economic slowdown and the foot-and-mouth epidemic will also take their toll, warns the report.

'Alive and well'

Price rises in the Midlands and Wales are likely to be affected by the economic slowdown, which has led to extensive job losses in these areas.

And the foot-and-mouth epidemic will temporarily hit the market in parts of the north and the south west of the country.

But there are fewer negative factors in the south and south east, where the average house price is set to rise by 8% during the year.

However, high prices may then keep the buyers at bay and could in turn start to force prices lower, warns the report.

The number of house sales is set to increase by 5% as people take advantage of low interest rates to move.

"Falling interest rates and competition among mortgage lenders will keep the market alive and well," said Clive Wood, head of mortgages at HSBC.

The report concludes that the quarterly Housing Barometer, which measures the stability of the housing market, is "firmly placed" in the settled band.

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See also:

03 Apr 01 | Business
Foot-and-mouth hits house prices
27 Mar 01 | Business
Are house prices set to crash too?
21 Feb 01 | Business
Halifax stokes mortgage war
20 Feb 01 | Business
Analysis: Cheaper mortgages for all?
29 May 01 | Business
House prices still climbing
05 Jun 01 | Business
House prices remain buoyant
31 May 01 | Business
House prices rise 7.7%
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