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At last house prices leave the front page

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Robert Winfield Operations Director Chartwell Healthcare

It’s brilliant that all the fuss about the Mortgage Market Review and Retail Distribution Review is pushing news about property prices further back in the newspapers.

For years property prices have been the primary headline to generate sales or get traffic on websites but in light of regulatory changes it is old news.

I shouldn’t celebrate too soon though as we are entering the silly season and everyone will be guess-timating what will happen to house prices in 2011.

Hometrack has already forecast a 2% reduction over the year. This sounds a bit non-committal and it would have been better off saying prices would remain constant.

There are too many factors that will affect prices next year so we cannot make accurate predictions.

First up is the Financial Services Authority and its desire to remove all the USPs from the broking industry.

We will also see civil servants feeling the force of the credit crunch as they suffer budget cuts and job losses.

On the upside UK growth is expected to continue.

The lack of credit will produce opportunities through an increase in buy-to-let activity as more people are forced to rent rather than buy their homes.

Who knows what effect all this will have on house prices in 2011, but my Christmas has come early as property prices are no longer front-page news – that’s been a long time coming.

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