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Borrowers told: 'Don't panic'

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Borrowers told: 'Don't panic'

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing

UK housebuilding 'sinks to Second World War levels' UK housebuilding 'sinks to Second World War levels'

With the tabloids fixated on possible house price rises in 2014, the Land Registry said that prices rose 10.6% in London, and just over 3% in England and Wales, for the year to the end of November 2013. In sharp contrast properties in the north east dropped 1.6% for the same period.

The average home is now £165,411.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, warned Thursday of the double-edged sword of increased funding for borrowers.

“With funding more readily available than at any time in the past five years, many buyers are finally able to realise their property-ownership dream. This surge in demand is pushing up prices, particularly in London, where supply is already limited. Gazumping and sealed bids are becoming commonplace as relatively ordinary properties fetch a premium.”

But Harris played down worries over interest rate rises triggering panic, saying there was still time to take pre-emptive action.

“There are growing fears of an interest rate rise sooner rather than later but borrowers should not panic. There are still plenty of rock-bottom mortgage deals available, with some particularly good pricing on five-year fixed rates,” Harris said.

“Repossessions continue to fall although the fact that any borrowers are struggling when interest rates are at historic lows is telling. The high cost of living and failure of incomes to keep pace means some homeowners are getting into difficulty. While lenders need to continue to show forbearance, the government also needs to ensure that safety nets are in place to help the most vulnerable.”

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