There could be a period after next year's general election where property prices "are not increasing as much as they should", it has been suggested.

According to Gary Smith, president of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), house prices can be affected when the nation goes to the ballot box.

Private landlords considering their investment options over the coming months may want to take Mr Smith's views into account, although he also suggested that other factors may dictate that the housing industry shows signs of strength.

Low interest rates set by the Bank of England could encourage more people to invest in bricks and mortar as other savings and investments vehicles may not be as lucrative, the NAEA president explained.

He added that some people may become private landlords by renting out their properties to make money while the base rate is low.

Earlier this week, The Ernst &Young ITEM Club claimed that house prices in the UK will not recover to their autumn 2007 peak for another five years - at the least.

Nationwide Building Society and Halifax have reported house price inflation lately but the ITEM Club thinks this cannot be sustained beyond the first quarter of 2010.

Written by Mark Garner

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