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ECONOMIST VIEWS: WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE UK HOUSING MARKET?

<strong>SEEMA SHAH CAPITAL ECONOMICS<br /></strong>In our view there are more falls to come, although recent falls have been slower than seen previously. The problem is that just by looking at a couple of months rise you forget how far they have fallen from the peak. The outlook is slightly more positive than it was but we were looking at it from such a poor perspective that it is not surprising.<br /><strong><br />GUY WESTON KING STURGE</strong><br />In London, buyer enquiries have risen recently whilst new instructions have lagged behind noticeably, exerting upward pressure on pricing. Buyers remain acutely price-conscious as a result of constraints in the availability of mortgage finance. Wales, the Midlands and North are expected to lag slightly behind the rest of the country over the next 18 months.<br /><strong><br />PHILIP SHAW INVESTEC</strong><br />We have seen some increase in activity and certainly an improvement in sentiment. But the increase in mortgage approvals has taken place from very low levels so one shouldn&rsquo;t get too excited. Our view is that house prices will be flat through the second half of the year. The direction of the housing market depends critically on the economy and lending by banks.<br />