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September 30, 2010    

Nationwide: house prices steady in September

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by Gill Montia

Nationwide has reported a 0.1% rise in the average UK house price in September (compared to August), taking the value of the typical home to £166,757.

The movement left the annual rate of gain at 3.1%, down from 3.9% in August and 6.6% in July.

Meanwhile, the three-month-on-three-month rate of change, which is a more reliable indicator or near-term price trend, fell from 0.0% in August to -0.9% in September.

According to the building society, the negative reading is the first for the three-month rate of change since May 2009, and is consistent with the “clear loosening of housing market conditions observed over the summer months.”

However, the lender’s chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, suggests that at this stage “it is not pointing to a significant pace of decline in property values”, adding a reminder that during the 2008 downturn in house prices, the three-month rate of change dropped as low as -5.5%.

Looking to the future, Mr Gahbauer states: “Where house prices go next will depend on whether the strong flow of new property onto the market continues into the autumn, and on the extent to which existing sellers are willing to compromise on their asking prices in order to make a quicker sale.”

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