The property market is due to suffer its worst year since the mid-1990s as houses fall in value across the country, Britain's biggest building society gives warning today, The Times reports.
Nationwide said that house price inflation would collapse from 9.7% at present to precisely 0% next year - below the expected inflation rate of around 2%, meaning that prices will fall in real terms.
Prices would decline across much of England, but Scotland would have a relatively stable period of modest price rises, Nationwide said.
Its annual forecast for 2008 shows prices declining by 2% in the North and the North West and by as much as 5% in Northern Ireland.
BARCLAYS HAS WRITTEN OFF £1.7bn on sub-prime mortgages and buyout loans in the past four months, the bank disclosed yesterday as it sought to soothe market fears of a much larger black hole in its accounts, The Times reports.
Despite the write-offs, the bank’s investment banking arm, Barclays Capital, made record profits of £1.9bn in the first ten months of the year, it said.
The bank was rewarded with an initial 6% rise in its shares, but the positive mood evaporated on closer reading of its trading statement and because of souring sentiment over banks generally. The shares ended down 2½p at 530½p.
NORHTERN ROCK'S BORRIWING from the Bank of England soared by £2bn in the past week, bringing its total debt to the taxpayer to £25.3bn, The Telegraph reports.
The latest figure was revealed as the beleaguered bank awaits proposals from interested parties.
Its advisers set a deadline of today, but banking sources believe bidders would still be seriously considered if they submit proposals early next week. Interested parties may make brief statements today, then the onus will be on Northern Rock to give a clear idea of how it will proceed.
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