House fall undermines RMI market

Published:  25 November, 2010

LONDON/ULSTER: House prices are set to fall, with mortgage approvals at a 19-month low.

The British Bankers' Association said mortgage approvals last month were down 25% on October 2009 and the lowest since the stock market hit its trough in the spring of last year.

Analysts said that with activity in the housing market running at only half the levels in the decade leading up to the crash of 2007, it was likely the coming year would see further falls in house prices.

In a further blow to potential repair and maintenance sales, demand for unsecured credit also remained weak, dropping by 1.7% in the past year, although credit card borrowing rose slightly.

House prices in Northern Ireland are already falling with the average value of a house dropping below £150 000 for the first time in five years. The region's property market recorded a 7.6% drop in prices from the same time last year, according to the University of Ulster quarterly house price index.

The survey, compiled in conjunction with the Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland housing executive, found the signs of a slight market recovery earlier this year had been put on hold, or even reversed.

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