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Green Shoots & Flower Buds – House Prices Rise


We have Bloomberg news on in our office, as obviously we like to keep up to date with the latest financial news, (or is it because it is one of only 3 channels we can access? – you decide), but it is very informative. The other day an excited American boomed, “this is not just green shoots we are seeing here, but real flower buds now!”.

It was said with such an air of confidence that you could not help yourself but be carried away on a euphoric wave of good feeling – hell, I almost pledged my allegiance to the American flag, (though I didn’t).

There is indeed however a lot of good news around, but also many guarded warnings and whispers of negativity. The shape of the recession is still not known and even Sir Martin Sorrell has chipped in predicting that it will look like an italicised “L” shape, though not sure if that is a capital L or a little l, I guess capital L.

This week the main news has been around house prices with Nationwide stating prices have risen for the 4th month running, and this has even been trumped by the latest “actual” figures by the Land Registry which show that house prices rose in July by 1.7%, which represents the highest monthly growth in 5 years, since July 2004 to be precise.

This gives an annual drop of 11.7%, with many commentators now suggesting prices may end the year in positive territory, which must be hard to swallow for the prophets of doom who suggested another 20% fall this year!

As we all know however, this still has a long way to run, and once more properties come on the market, especially if rates start to rise as well, and repossessions follow, then we could see a slight fall back by a few percent. Whatever happens, the great house price crash seems to be over and those hoping for a 40% + peak to trough fall will be disappointed again – how many times can they keep predicting this apocalyptic result?

Well done to the Welsh by the way, who experienced the greatest increase – must be something in the water there.

With GDP falling a little less than expected, and surveys on Confidence showing a positive return perhaps we should be feeling more comfortable that a corner has been turned.

Whether the green shoots are flower buds, or these flower buds bloom, is a matter of conjecture and endless speculation. We shall see.



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