Rock predicts a record as market stays buoyant.Byline: By Iain Lang
Banking group Northern Rock yesterday said it expected record profits as it added to a chorus of optimistic op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op forecasts of rising house prices.
The Newcastle-based lender said that earnings for 2004 would be at least pounds 430m, which is 13pc up on a year ago.
Good employment levels, a housing shortage and relatively low debt servicing costs meant the home-moving market would remain underpinned, said the company.
The update came as new figures from the Halifax showed a 36pc rise in North house prices last year with the average breaking the pounds 100,000 barrier for the first time.
Northern Rock said it expected first quarter total net lending, which was 16pc above the same period last year, to rise about 20pc by the half year against the first half in 2003.
It said lending remained dominated by home loans, with remortgaging continuing to be strong.
Chief executive Adam Applegarth Adam J. Applegarth (born August 1962 in Sunderland, England) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne based Northern Rock bank. said the bank is confident of achieving its targets for growth in assets under management, profits and return on equity.
"We are again set to deliver against our low cost, high quality, high growth strategy," he said.
Northern Rock said it was starting the second quarter with a pipeline of agreed business of more than pounds 4.6bn - 20pc higher than at the start of the year.
The update came as the Halifax reported a 2.2pc rise in house prices during March.
The rise boosted annual house price inflation to 18.5pc for the year to the end of March, up from 16pc in January, and pushed the average price of a house in the UK through the pounds 150,000 barrier for the first time to pounds 151,467.
Halifax said house prices had now risen by 6.2pc so far this year, and an increase in the level of sales also suggested the market was gaining momentum. The news, which came the day after Bank of England Bank of England, central bank and note-issuing institution of Great Britain. Popularly known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, its main office stands on the street of that name in London. figures showed homeowners withdrew a record pounds 16.19bn in equity from their properties during the last quarter of 2003, will increase pressure on the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee to raise interest rates when it meets next week.
Also yesterday housebuilder George Wimpey continued to show the benefit of a buoyant Buoyant
The term used to describe a commodities market where the prices generally rise with ease when there are considerable signals of strength.
These types of markets can be very volatile as the prices are rapid to rise and fall with investor sentiment. market after sealing more than half its projected sales for this year.
The group, which saw profits soar SOAR - 1. State, Operator And Result. A general problem-solving production system architecture, intended as a model of human intelligence. Developed by A. Newell in the early 1980s. SOAR was originally implemented in Lisp and OPS5 and is currently implemented in Common Lisp. 32pc to pounds 378m in 2003, said both selling rates and prices at its core Wimpey division were ahead of last year.
At Laing Homes, the operation acquired by the group in November 2002, half its projected sales for the year have also already been completed or reserved.