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Special> Global Financial Crisis> Latest
UPDATED: December 31, 2008
UK House Price Continues to Fall in November
The British house prices fell at a further rate of 1.9 percent

The British house prices fell at a further rate of 1.9 percent in November this year due to weak market activities, the country's Land Registry reported here on Tuesday.

This pushed the annual drop of the house price in England and Wales to 12.2 percent, which is the 15th consecutive monthly decrease, according to the Land Registry.

The organization also revealed that the average house price in England and Wales now stands at 161,883 pounds (238,000 U.S. dollars), similar to the February 2006 levels. The sales volumes have continued to decrease, with the number of sales averaging 48,599 per month in the third quarter of this year.

Ongoing tight credit conditions, still relatively stretched housing affordability on a number of measures, faster rising unemployment, muted income growth, widespread expectations that house prices are likely to fall a lot further, and an unwillingness of many people to commit to buying a house when the economic outlook and job prospects look so bad -- all these form a powerful set of negative factors weighing down on the housing market, said Howard Archer from IHS Global Insight.

He added that these factors are likely to continue to markedly outweigh the beneficial impact of lower mortgage interest rates resulting from the Bank of England's slashing of interest rates, particularly as it is currently still very difficult to get a mortgage.

UK mortgage lending by the major banks has fallen sharply. The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase fell by 14 percent in November to a new low of 17,773, according to the British Bankers' Association.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicted that house prices in UK will probably fall by another 10 percent in the coming year. IHS Global Insight forecast the price would fall a further 15 percent in 2009 after an estimated decline of around 15percent in 2008. A reduced fall of 5 percent in house prices is expected in the first half of 2010, while the prices are then expected to flatten out in the latter months of 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2008)

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