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House prices 'will fall by 7%'

Almost three in four people expect house prices to fall over the next year, a study shows.The poll, conducted for the Building Societies Association (BSA) by YouGov, also found that the average predicted drop over the year stands at 7.1 per cent.Regionally, Welsh people were found to be the most pessimistic about the property sector - with a 9.1 per cent fall expected.Most positive were those in Yorkshire and Humberside, who think that house prices will decline by 4.8 per cent.Commenting on the findings, Adrian Coles at the BSA said: "It is clear that the positive outlook that has characterised the property market for the last few years is now a thing of the past, and people expect prices to fall over the next year." He added: "However, this must be kept in perspective. Property price inflation has been so great over recent years that a 7.1 per cent fall in prices means that most people still have considerable equity in their property."Moreover, we must never forget that falling house prices mean that first time buyers now have more purchasing power."

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