February house price figures show positive trend

Mortgage Talk Managing Director Dismisses Negative Reports

For Immediate Release 4th March 2005

"Commentators who forecasted a housing market crash during 2005 are being needlessly pessimistic,' states Frankish. 'Our own figures showed a strong start to the new year, with further improvements in the trend for February.

"These statistics build on survey results from The Nationwide that reveal seasonally adjusted house price rises of 0.5% for last month, translating to a year on year rise of 10.2%.

"After three to four years of very aggressive growth in the housing market, these results indicate that a reasonable balance has returned to people's property expectations, rather than the boom and bust cycle of the last few decades. It was clear that the rises we have experienced over the last few years could not be sustained, and had become self-destructive, by precluding first time buyers from the market,' adds Frankish.

"Our view at Mortgage Talk is that mortgage applications during the latter part of 2004 declined at least in part because of the industry's inability to cope with the onset of the new FSA rules governing the selling of financial services,' reveals Frankish. 'Our own preliminary statistics show

that, even though January was a good month for us, February has proved to be even better.'

"Every indication is that there are still plenty of consumers looking to buy and sell property. Overall, it seems that the Bank of England has done well in manipulating interest rates to manage supply and demand in the housing market, with every indication that those predicting a crash will be proved wrong," concludes Frankish.