Odds at 10/1 for house price recovery this year
HOUSE prices may begin to show signs of recovering in the middle six months of next year.
That's according to bookie Paddy Power which is offering odds of 3/1 that the Permanent TSB house-price index will show its next quarterly increase during the second quarter or odds of 7/2 that it may take place in the third quarter.
Nevertheless Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power, doesn't overestimate the market: "It's almost impossible to tell when the tide will change. While there are signs of a gradual turnaround, the odds suggest it could be some time before house prices increase significantly."
But the odds are not that much different for an even later upturn. For instance, the odds are only 4/1 that the recovery may be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2011 or even as late as the third quarter of 2012.
As bookies' odds go these are relatively generous, suggesting that the bookie is trying to tempt some optimistic estate agents and maybe a few distressed developers and bankers. For the supreme optimists as much as 10/1 is available for a recovery in the current quarter of this year.
Such optimism may be generated by this week's reports that the economy is beginning to come out of recession; the 50pc price falls already seen; as well as the severe cutback in house-building activity, which may limit the choice available for buyers of houses -- if not for apartment buyers.