Housing market "frozen", according to expert

Homeowners considering selling their property rather than improving it with a conservatory or other modification have been told the market is "frozen".

Despite the latest reports from Hometrack, the Land Registry and Nationwide all showing what could be considered positive signs, a representative of the latter urged caution.

Addressing the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference and Exhibition yesterday (June 16th,) Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer suggested the industry is still struggling.

"For a real recovery to take place you need a greater amount of first-time buyers coming into the market because that is really what will provide the necessary injection of equity to get things moving across the entire housing chain," he said.

He added there was a lack of available finance in the banking sector, which was likely to keep the housing market subdued for the time being.

Mr Gahbauer highlighted the recent stabilisation of property values was not due to increased demand as first-time buyers were still having to struggle to build up a deposit.