6 Apr

Mortgage lending 'clearer positive sign than house prices'

Mortgage lending 'clearer positive sign than house prices'

The recently-recorded increase in mortgage lending offers more substantial evidence of the start of a market recovery than house price statistics, it has been claimed.

Director of property website Mouseprice.co.uk Selwyn Kim said the recent contradictory figures for property values in March - with Nationwide showing a rise and Halifax a fall - are like "crocodile teeth", as they fluctuate from month to month.

He said such figures are "more of a feature of index volatility than any underlying movement in real house prices".

In contrast, Mr Lim suggested, the Bank of England figures showing a rise in the number of mortgages lent in February are is "far more encouraging" as they show real data and not speculative information.

Commenting on the Nationwide house price figures when they were released last week, the building society's chief economist Fionnuala Earley urged caution.

She said: "It is far too soon to see this as evidence that the trough of the market has been reached."

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