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New Homes Data Spell Declining Market

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The nascent recovery in the house building market appears to have ground to a halt as a leading industry survey, which measures the number of people reserving new homes to buy, dropped to its lowest level on record.

The survey, conducted weekly by the Home Builders Federation, is for internal use only and is regarded by the industry as the best guide to housing demand.

But its latest report, seen by the Financial Times, shows that deposits on new properties have dropped below those recorded in 2008, the nadir of the market.

The HBF declined to comment

In the five weeks through late August, the total net reservations were 3,353, 5 per cent lower than in the 2008 housing market and 22 per cent lower than at the same time in 2009 when house prices were recovering strongly.

Such a sharp drop in new housing demand is a poor omen for house prices generally and for broader economic activity. This week, the Nationwide House Price Index recorded the first back-to-back decline in monthly house prices since February 2009 amid signs of weak mortgage lending.

“Everybody in the industry thought they had died and gone to hell during the second half of 2008,” said one industry official familiar with the figures, noting that times seemed worse, now.

“This is clearly a major warning sign for the housing market and the economy as these leading indicators are strong sign of trouble ahead.”


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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
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