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Halifax and Nationwide steer clear of house price forecasts

Halifax and Nationwide have both decided not to release their usual house price forecasts for next year.

The two lenders normally issue their house price forecasts around now but have chosen, for different reasons, not to make them at this time.

Both lenders say their monthly house price indices are set to continue.

Nationwide argues that consumers’ interests would not be best served by putting out a forecast at the moment.

A spokeswoman for the lender says: “The market is so volatile we don’t think that making a forecast would add value to the trends we’re reporting on.

“So much is dependent on confidence, it would be irresponsible for us to put out a figure for 2009.”

Halifax says their decision not to issue a forecast is due to the unknown implications of its merger with Lloyds TSB.

A Halifax spokesman says: “The forecasts would project into the period where we part of the enlarged Lloyds Banking Group and it would be inappropriate for us to guess at Lloyds’ figures.”

The Council of Mortgage Lenders issued forecasts for 2009 yesterday but decided to steer clear of making any predictions related to house prices.

A spokeswoman for the CML says: “With the low volumes of transactions we expect next year we think it would be incredibly difficult to accurately predict house prices.”

The trade body adds that lending levels and repossessions are the areas it chooses to focus on, rather than house prices.

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