'Mini ice age' predicted for UK housing market

Caroline Cassidy

Did you buy a house between 2006 and 2008? If so, you may want to look away now. People who bought within that period are among the biggest property losers, according to a top firm of accountants, who claim the housing market is now entering 'a mini ice age.'

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Experts at Pricewaterhouse Coopers warn that it may take 10 years for house prices to recover to their peak levels – and say that when you adjust for inflation, there's only a 50/50 chance they will have thawed out by 2020.

The average property cost around £200,000 back in 2007. Today, that same house is worth just £160,000, a fall of £40,000 - or 20 per cent of the property's peak value.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PWC, suggested there were several factors behind the housing crisis and warned Britain's 18 million homeowners that it was 'likely to be a long and bumpy road' to full recovery.

The PWC report says those who bought 'at or close to the top of the market' will be the biggest losers (i.e. those who got on the property ladder between 2006 and 2008).

Many families are stuck in negative equity, where the value of the property is now lower than the loan they took out on it.

People wanting to move to London (and other hotspots in the South East) are also amongst the 'losers' as this area is holding its value – unlike the rest of the country.

Are you one of the 'losers' or were you lucky enough to sell up and pocket the cash during the property peak? Leave a comment below...