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I am beginning to think that HPC can sometimes explain the behaviour of the equity markets: -1% 2 days ago, crash on. 2/2% today, HPC cancelled.

This, with all the focus on the stamp duty holiday:

From the report itself:

The recent increase in sales may have been driven by first-time buyers seeking to

beat the end of the stamp duty holiday. The proportion of house purchasers who are firsttime buyers increased between the final quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. This

suggests that the ending of the temporary increase in the starting threshold of stamp duty for

first-time buyers from £125,000 to £250,000 in late March encouraged some to buy before

the threshold reverted to the lower level. An extra four in ten first-time buyers – 150,000 in

total - have been exempt from paying stamp duty as a result of the Government temporarily

doubling the starting threshold over the past two years.

In the real world, in my neck of the woods, supply of <150,000£ houses I actually want is increasing very quickly. What is selling is either shitty flats for £30,000 or footballers' houses for >£750,000.

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It's never wise to read too much into one month's figure in these surveys.

A while back there was a -3.6% that caused whoops of joy, only for it to be largely reversed over the next two months.

A single +2.2% is hard to read anything into, especially with the stamp duty change in the mix.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some offsetting negatives in the next couple of months.

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Um', I have a question, halifax are claiming 2.2% m/m rise and using the stamp duty holiday ending as the excuse. Why would buyers pay 2.2% more to get in under the deadline for a saving of 1%? Or did halifax feel they needed a big plus this month and didn't figure out the flaw in the logic. I no longer believe any of the indices.

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Um', I have a question, halifax are claiming 2.2% m/m rise and using the stamp duty holiday ending as the excuse. Why would buyers pay 2.2% more to get in under the deadline for a saving of 1%? Or did halifax feel they needed a big plus this month and didn't figure out the flaw in the logic. I no longer believe any of the indices.

If I were a VI producing an index, I'd manipulate it to be negative in months where nobody moves house and publish large gains in historical buying seasons, like the spring. As long as the books balance at year end nobody will notice ;).

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Um', I have a question, halifax are claiming 2.2% m/m rise and using the stamp duty holiday ending as the excuse. Why would buyers pay 2.2% more to get in under the deadline for a saving of 1%? Or did halifax feel they needed a big plus this month and didn't figure out the flaw in the logic. I no longer believe any of the indices.

Buyers don't have to pay the for the house - they get free money from the lender so why worry about the price. SDLT on the other hand has to be paid in real money, the same sort of money that people buy petrol and beer with, not the pretend Monopoly money they 'buy' houses with.

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Let's hope they are just positioning themselves for falls in the coming months re changes in the budget.

Still, 2.2% is a big slap in the face that's very difficult to spin as pointing to a HPC. The Express will be all over this.

After an extended period of diverging, the Halifax and Nationwide are now pretty much aligned.

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Um', I have a question, halifax are claiming 2.2% m/m rise and using the stamp duty holiday ending as the excuse. Why would buyers pay 2.2% more to get in under the deadline for a saving of 1%? Or did halifax feel they needed a big plus this month and didn't figure out the flaw in the logic. I no longer believe any of the indices.

Because outside HPC-world, many FTBs:

1. Are financially retarded.

2. Would take a couple of grand cash over less mortgage debt.

3. Don't expect prices to fall and just want to 'get on the ladder'.

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