Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010: which way now?

It seems like commentators don’t know where we are going. There is inevitable uncertainty as the fiscal and monetary stabilisers are likely to come off in 2010.

The uncertainty is most acute with the housing market. Last weekend the Financial Times had a couple of articles setting out predictions for house price rises – or, rather, falls.

In one of the articles the predictions varied from a optimistic 5% rise from Stuart Law, the chief executive of Assetz, to a more than 10% fall from one of the paper's own columnists.

The other article asked 70 professional economists if houses were now reasonably valued: 13 believed they were, 55 said they were not and two did not want to hazard a view. Naturally those who thought house prices were over-valued disagreed on by how much. The respected National Institute of Economic and Social Research suggested that house prices were 10-15% too much.

Of course, a double-dip recession, maybe triggered by a crisis budget or the end of quantitative easing, may have a few ramifications for the housing market.

Happy New Year.

No comments: