Sir Edward George, governor of the Bank of England, has dismissed fears of a dramatic fall in house prices.
Speaking to the BBC last week, Sir Edward said that recent forecasts, which have predicted drops in prices of up to 30%, could not be relied upon.
He said: “You shouldn't put too much weight on surveys, at this time of year in particular,”
Instead, Sir Edward foresees a gradual moderation in house price growth.
He says: “You've got to keep things in perspective. I don't think there's a general perception that there will be a crash.”
Sir Edward admits that a big slowdown in consumer spending is an economic risk. , whose second five-year term of office ends on 30 June 2003, also forecast a gradual slowdown for consumer spending.
But he admitted there are risks facing the UK economy, including the danger that consumers would “cut back on spending more than we'd like to see”.
Sir Edward leaves his role as governor in June 2003, when his current deputy Mervyn King becomes new governor of the Bank of England.