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Nationwide Back To Making Predictions Then?

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Thursday, 30 July 2009

The UK's largest building society believes there is a "reasonable chance" that house prices could end the year higher than they started 2009.

Such an outcome was "unthinkable" a few months ago, the Nationwide's chief economist said.

The Nationwide's latest house price survey showed prices rose by 1.3% in July compared with the previous month.

Friday 19 December 2008


Two of Britain's biggest mortgage lenders, Halifax and Nationwide, have ditched their annual house price forecasts for 2009 because they think the market is too volatile to judge.

As well as their long-standing monthly property price surveys, which will continue next year, the two lenders usually forecast in December what will happen to house prices over the next year.

The Halifax's monthly house price survey has been published since 1983, with a forecast at the end of every year for at least the past decade. However, a spokesman for the bank said it was "not appropriate" considering the bank's impending takeover by Lloyds TSB, which is due to be completed on 19 January.

"It would be effectively forecasting into when Halifax is part of Lloyds banking group," he said.

The Nationwide, whose database goes back to 1952, started publishing its monthly survey in 1991, although it had been publishing quarterly surveys since 1977. It made its first annual forecast in 1988. It said conditions were too tough at present to predict where house prices would be over the coming 12 months given the property market slump and uncertain economic outlook.

"It was decided that because of the volatility in the market we cannot do a forecast as it could be a number that would change very quickly early on next year," a Nationwide spokeswoman said. "When things have settled down a bit we may be in a position to review this next year."

The society previously decided not to make an annual forecast in 1992 and 1993 during the depths of the last property crash.

House prices have gone through a record slump over the past year as mortgage lenders have tightened their criteria and the economy has deteriorated. The fall in sales and prices is expected to continue into 2009.

So does the Nationwide now think things have settled down because they sniff increases on the horizon and are now entering ramping mode?

We don't do downward volatility but will do upwards?

I thought this point deserved it's own thread.

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