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Lloyds economist issues agency warning

The agency market is set for a tough year ahead, according to one of the UK’s leading housing market economists.

Speaking at The Negotiator’s Survive & Thrive conference in Birmingham on Tuesday, Lloyds Banking Group economist Martin Ellis predicts that agents face a number of ‘significant headwinds’, including rising unemployment, subdued earnings growth, tax rises and an ongoing shortage of mortgage funding.

He says: “There is a non-negligible risk of a double dip. The risks of Sovereign debt on the economy could spark a new financial crisis, but this is a risk, not a forecast.”

Ellis predicts that house prices will end the year where they started, with transactions likely to rise but remain historically low, offset by the £300bn gap in mortgage funding. This, he believes, will fuel existing pent up demand within the buyer market, particularly among first-time buyers.

Ellis was one of a range of speakers at the regional event on Tuesday, which was in partnership with Trinity Mirror Digital Property and supported by Virgin Media.

Don’t miss the next issue of the magazine, out next Friday [July 16], for full coverage of the event.

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