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How Inflation Will Destroy Home Owners Equity

Housing-Market / UK Housing Jun 18, 2008 - 01:35 AM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Housing-Market The UK housing boom has seen house prices rise from a low of £60.096 in 1993 (Halifax UK:NSA) to a high of £201.081 by August 2007. A whopping gain of 334%. The below graph illustrates the remarkable strong trend higher, where even the measured forecast downtrend of 15% only measures as a minor blip on the long-term trend of ever higher house prices.

Looking at the above graph it is hard to believe why so much distress was voiced of the 1990's housing bear market which barely registers on the graph. Yes house prices fell from £70,588 in 1989 to £60,196 in 1993, a fall of 15% but after a period of consolidation soon recovered to pass the previous peak. So why did the housing market have such an significant impact on the economy, why did so many home owners hand back their keys as repossessions surged ?

The answer is illustrated in the below graph which shows inflation adjusted house prices. As the housing market stalled and started to fall, home owners were hit hard by the real impact of real terms falls in house prices. Who wants to hold an asset that is going to year on year lose value ? Which is why the house prices remained depressed for TEN years, not because they were expensive, but because of fear of real terms loss of value when inflation is taken into account.

Today's home owners despite the fall in house prices of 7%, have yet to incorporate into their psyche of real terms loss of value, which will be with the housing market long after the UK housing market stops falling. The implications are that the UK housing market could yet again be depressed by a further decade of stagnating house prices on a real terms basis that will ensure houses being seen as an asset that will lose money in real-terms, by which time the housing market will probably have reached the next buying point.

The above inflation graph should dispel the notion that inflation was inordinately high during the 1990's stagnant housing market than the present. The graph clearly shows that inflation this time around seems set to be higher on an average basis and thereby sends a warning shot to those that view housing as a long-term investment. THis is the wrong time to be invested in property as the scene is set for a 50% to 60% fall in UK house prices from the Peak to the eventual inflation adjusted trough.

Analysis of the UK Housing Market:

26 May 2008 - US and UK Housing Bear Market Trends
22 May 2008 - Council of Mortgage Lenders 2008 Housing Market Forecast Demolished
08 May 2008 - UK House Prices Tumbling- Interest Rate Conundrum
21 Apr 2008 - Bank of England Throws £50 billion of Tax Payers Money at the Banks
17 Apr 2008 - Credit Crisis SCOOP- LIBOR Is Now Irrelevant to Derivatives Pricing
08 Apr 2008 - UK House Prices Plunge Over the Cliff
01 Apr 2008 - How to Fix the Credit Markets
11 Mar 2008 - RICS Data Confirms UK Housing Market Heading for 1990's Style Crash
03 Mar 2008 - Credit Crisis Morphs Into Stagflation- Protect Your Wealth!
26 Feb 2008 - UK House Prices Fall for 5 Months in a Row- Housing Market Will Go Negative April 08
07 Feb 2008 - UK Interest Rates Cut to 5.25% - Will Not Help the Housing Market
21 Dec 2007 - UK Commercial Properties Crash Looms as Property Investment Fund Frozen
07 Dec 2007 - Analysis of Interbank and Base Interest Rate Spread
05 Dec 2007 - UK Home Owners Unable to Refinance Mortgages As Fixed Rates Expire During 2008
02 Dec 2007 - UK Housing Slump Gains Momentum as Properties Fail to Sell at Auction
10th Nov 2007 - Crash in UK House Prices Forecast for April 2008 As Buy to Let Investors Sell on Capital Gains Tax Change
28th Oct 07 - UK House Prices - Primary Reasons For a Sharp Fall
25th Sep 07 - UK Housing Market on Brink of Price Crash - Media Lessons from 1989!
22nd Aug 07 - UK Housing Market Crash of 2007 - 2008 and Steps to Protect Your Wealth
1st May 07 - UK Housing Market Heading for a Property Crash

By Nadeem Walayat

Copyright © 2005-08 (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading, analysing and forecasting the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 150 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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