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Fears over Rising House Prices

6 April, 2007

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said the latest figures released by the Halifax that show house prices are still rising at a strong pace despite recent interest rate rises was worrying.

Mr McCann Hassan said

"The latest figures from the Halifax reinforce the worry out there that the right to buy a home is being put beyond the means of many people. The report found that prices rose by 1% in March, taking the annual rate of house price inflation to about 11%.

"If there is a continuation of this rise it could bring the housing market to a standstill here because we have not got a strong enough economy and level of wages to match those increases.

"Also worrying is that the Halifax figures showed the average price of a house here has broken through the £200,000 barrier for the first time and that prices have risen by 76% since the start of 2005.

"The only people who are benefiting from these rises are the property speculators. In efforts to buy a home more people are borrowing larger amounts than ever before and increasing the risk of mortgage default. We only have to look at the ever increasing numbers of court action for repossession to see that this is a serious threat. There can be no more equivocation and no more delay in dealing with the housing market and particularly the activities of property developers. We need to see early commitments to create genuinely affordable housing." ENDS

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