Thursday, July 19, 2007
Halifax raises 2007 forecast
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's largest mortgage lender HBOS, which produces the closely watched Halifax monthly house price survey, revised up its 2007 house price inflation forecast to 6 percent from 4 percent on Thursday. House prices have recorded robust growth this year despite rising interest rates and affordability constraints as hot spots in areas such as London and Northern Ireland drive headline inflation higher. "This revision largely reflects the greater upward movement in prices than expected during the first four months of the year," HBOS said in a statement. Nonetheless, evidence is starting to emerge that five interest rate rises in less than a year are starting to dampen demand in the market.