Economist Noble Francis sees glimmers of an upturn but remains cautious

This week has seen the release of data from CLG, covering the second quarter’s housing starts, and CML, providing the latest data on mortgage lending. Both have seen sharp increases. Housing starts in England during the second quarter of 2009 were 63% higher than in 2009 Q1 following the high rate of destocking occurring in the first quarter. Likewise, gross mortgage lending was an estimated £16 billion in July, a 26% increase from £12.7 billion in June.

This data follow on from positive house prices information recently. House prices have been quite erratic over the course of the year, due to the low number of transactions, but both Halifax and Nationwide reported that house prices increased in July, by 1.1% and 1.3% respectively.

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