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New House Starts Fall By 21% In First Quarter Of 2008

In a move which is hardly surprising we have today heard confirmation that new housing starts in the UK fell by 21% compared to the previous quarter, although the fall is larger at 24% compared to the same period last year.

There was also similar news on the housing completions number which fell 18% to 39,500 compared to the same period last year, but only 12% compared to the last quarter. The figures basically reflect what the UK’s leading house builders have been saying for some time.

This news has come at a time when UK prices are set to fall even further, with a recent government gaffe showing the authorities expect a best case scenario of between 5% and 10% falls in house prices this year. The fall in property prices has been magnified by the lack of affordable funding from UK mortgage lenders with corporate money markets still lacking real liquidity and depth.

There are hopes that the UK government’s multi-billion pound rescue package will speed up the recovery in the money markets but this s not something which will happen over night. Forecasts for the UK property market are not very encouraging at the moment with the Bank of England only yesterday re-iterating its stance that there is more turbulence ahead for the UK economy.

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