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Haart predicts 5% increase in property prices in 2006

Haart is predicting UK property prices to increase by 5% in the first half of 2006.

Its 2006 housing market forecast also reveals annual growth in the housing market is set to be 2-3%.

It also anticipates Self Invested Pension Plans and Home Information Packs will boost the housing market.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents, says: “This year has been a period of realignment for the housing market. Sellers have started to realise they need to price their property realistically and the market has consequently readjusted.

“However, now we are seeing higher levels of activity, as confidence has started to return and buyers are realising the market is not going to crash. We expect this positive level of activity to carry over to the first half of the year as a 12 months worth of pent up activity is released.

“Throughout 2006 the combined impact of Self Invested Personal Pensions and Home Information Packs will also inevitably impact on the market.

“We predict there will be an increase in demand for properties with the introduction of SIPPs and this demand will be met by a rush of sellers who want to sell their property prior to the introduction of HIPs.

“However home buyers are a lot more cautious now and we are not going to see the high levels of inflation of recent years.”

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By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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