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With the continuation of the record low Bank of England interest rates (0.5%) there has been very little movement in UK property prices for more than 8 months.

However, UK mortgage lender Halifax reckons there was a 0.6% increase in UK property values in January 2012.
The UK’s largest mortgage lender found that despite the month-on-month increase in January, on average UK property prices were still 0.9% lower over a rolling three-month period.

The average price of a UK residential property in January 2012 was £160,907.

This has resulted in a 14-year low, in terms of payments in proportion to household earnings, for new borrowers looking to invest in UK residential properties.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “If the UK can avoid a prolonged recession, we expect broad stability in house prices in 2012.”

The prospects for UK property prices in 2012 will depend on many facors, including the fallout and repercussions from the Eurozone debacle and its effect on the struggling UK economy.

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A new study by UK mortgage lender Halifax reckons that optimism is picking up among property investors, with more investors predicting a boost in the fortunes of UK residential property market than those predicting a dramatic fall in UK property values.

Just under 30% of those surveyed by the Halifax feel that UK property prices will increase in the next 12 months, up from nearly 28% from October 2011.

22% say UK property prices will decline, a fall of 8% on October 2011’s figures.

However, most people are predicting a year of stability in the UK housing market rather than any major changes, with 66% not expecting to see a rise or fall in property prices of more than 5%.

With the real possibility of an influx of overseas investors as the Olympics draw closer, optimism is high with many hoping that the hosting of the games in the nation’s capital will give the UK property market a much needed boost. Meanwhile, people in the North East are the least hopeful of price rises.

Halifax Chief Housing Economist, Martin Ellis, said: “The modest improvement in consumer confidence in the outlook for house prices reflects the resilience of the UK housing market over recent months in the face of a weak economic recovery and the deterioration in the outlook for both the UK and global economies.”

The UK residential property market currently puts house buyers firmly in the driving seat, according to almost 60% of those moving home.

Figures from property website Rightmove, show that 6 in 10 of those planning to move home feel that property buyers are in a far more commanding position over property vendors.

Rightmove’s survey suggests that 30% of the country feels that UK property prices will decline in the coming 12 months and just 25% believe property prices will be higher by February 2013.

With the Olympic Games set to be hosted in London this summer, UK capital residents appear to be less negative about the housing market’s future prospects, with 1 in 3 London residents predicting that property prices in the nation’s capital will be higher than they currently are this time next year.

Director of Rightmove Miles Shipside, said: “Our survey shows that sellers in the South should have more reason to be confident than those in the North, though even within regions there is evidence of variations in confidence in local micro-markets.”

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