February saw the slowest growth in housing prices since October 2001, according to Nationwide, but market analysts have reiterated that a drop in prices doesn't necessarily equal a slowdown. Annual inflation is expected to remain at the current rate of 0.4%, compared with last year's average monthly rate of 2.5%.
Nonetheless, various doomsayer headlines regarding an inevitable drop in housing prices have caused a slight rift over what the long-term implications such an environment might have on U.K. MBS. "It really shouldn't matter in the long run," said one market analyst. "I think most market participants have expected a slowdown primarily in the high-end market properties that are not included in master trust structures. These deals primarily hold middle-tier housing properties, and those prices are not expected to decline in the short term."