Faith in the British Housing Market Hits New Low
- Apr 15, 2008
London–Housing market confidence in England and Wales sunk to its lowest level in more than 30 years last month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said Tuesday.New homebuyer inquiries dropped for the 16th month in a row and at the quickest pace since 2003, RICS said. More surveyors reported declining rather than rising prices, according to The Wall Street Journal.Home sales for the quarter up until March decreased 20.1 percent compared to a year ago; housing inventory declined 1.3 percent from the month before but was still 50 percent higher than last year.Since December, the Bank of England has dropped its main interest rate by three quarters of a point to 5 percent–but financial market issues have caused banks to cut the amount of loan types they offer and restrict lending. On Friday, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said the government wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of buying mortgage-backed securities with taxpayer money to help the mortgage market.