Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Lower costs ‘unlikely to revive housing market’
More gloomy news for the housing market emerged yesterday as figures showed that the number of first-time buyers has fallen to a record low while rates on popular two-year fixed mortgages for them have risen to their highest since 2000.Ed Stansfield at Capital Economics said it was unlikely an easing in borrowing costs would help revive the housing market given the nature of the credit crunch and marked slowing of the economy. "We expect a protracted period of weakness, with house prices falling this year and next," he said. Most analysts think prices will remain steady this year, but a growing number are expecting a fall.