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Economists point to slow down in 2006 for architects

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The architecture profession is unlikely to enjoy a bumper 2006 if the latest property market predictions are to be trusted.

Britain's biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, said that domestic prices are only likely to edge up 3 per cent over the next 12 months.

And with a still stagnant commercial market, these figures suggest that the rate of new architectural commissions may slow in 2006, after a relatively successful 2005.

Halifax said the average cost of a home would rise broadly in line with inflation during the year, meaning there would be little change in prices in real terms.

Chief economist Martin Ellis said: 'The UK housing market is set for a period of broad stability, with house prices forecast to rise by 3 per cent, broadly in line with the predicted rise in retail price inflation.

'Low, single digit, growth is expected to be the norm across most of the country.

'Continuing economic growth, the high level of employment, robust earnings increases and the prospect of further interest rate cuts will support housing demand during the coming year,' Ellis added.

by Ed Dorrell

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