The Times (Ireland): Forecast for surge in sales of homes
Fri 21 Dec 2012
The housing market is set for a revival next year with transactions boosted by a more plentiful supply of finance for house-hunters and families itching to move.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders is forecasting that home sales could surge from an estimated 930,000 this year to 950,000 in the new year, still well below the 1.6 milion sales recorded in the boom period of 2007, but nevertheless a substantial improvement on the stagnant conditions at the depths of the credit squeeze in 2009.
Driving growth will be the Bank of England's 80 billion Funding for Lending Scheme launched in September.
The forecast represents a change in stance by the CML, which believed a year ago that 825,000 homes would change hands this year.
The trade body's members have also been more generoud than the organisation predicted in December 2011, advancing a net 9 billion, rather than the predicted 8 billion, although the chief beneficiaries of this largesse are borrowers with equity in their homes or substantial sums in savings, not the cohort of would-be buyers among the ranks of Generation Rent. Peter Rollings, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, the estate agency, believes that the CML's outlook will be fulfilled only if lenders give first-time buyers a helping hand.
He said "The concern remains that the FLS it is not yet hitting the mark with those without substantial deposits. For lending in 2013 to hit the CML's more optimistic estimate, lenders will need to redouble their efforts to target first-time buyers with higher loan-to-value deals, or we will see the lower tiers of the property market fall even further behind the top tier in the new year."