‘Housing boom over’ as UK bank chaos grows

Economist warns of sharp downturn
· Tory leader attacks Brown over crisis

Heather Stewart and Lisa Bachelor
Sunday September 16, 2007
The Observer

Britain’s house price growth will be halved next year as the global financial crisis exacerbates the impact of rising mortgage rates, according to Nationwide, the biggest mortgage lender.After the dramatic bail-out of high street bank Northern Rock underlined the impact of the American ‘sub-prime’ mortgage crisis on Britain’s financial sector, Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s group economist, said she expected house price inflation to slow to around 3 per cent next year.

Thousands of anxious customers queued outside Northern Rock branches for a second day yesterday, ignoring calls for calm from the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, and the bank’s management, and sparking fears of a full-blown ‘run’ on the bank.

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