UK house prices 2% higher than a year ago


Nationwide has reported that UK house prices rose for the sixth consecutive month in October, although the rate of increase slowed from 0.9% in September and 1.4% in both July and August.

However, the month saw the average value of a home 2% higher than a year earlier at A?162,038, reflecting the first annual increase since March 2008.

The three-month on three-month rate of change (generally regarded as a smoother indicator of the near-term trend) dropped back slightly, from 3.8% to 3.4%.

Over the first ten months of the year, the building society’s seasonally adjusted index rose by 4.6%, leaving values 13.1% down from their October 2007 peak.

Commenting on the figures, Nationwide’s chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, says the “strong upward momentum” in property values seen over the summer is moderating as we head into the autumn months.

Looking to the future he suggest that recent “surprisingly poor” figures for the economy have mixed implications for the UK housing market.

According to Mr Gahbauer, while the market is unlikely to return to the buoyant levels of activity and price inflation seen before the credit crisis, interest rates are likely to remain low well into next year, boosting mortgage affordability and, hopefully, sales.

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