House prices down 1.1% in February

| March 7, 2012 | 0 Comments
House prices down 1.1% in February

House prices fell 1.1 per cent in February according to The Halifax, contradicting earlier figures from Nationwide suggesting that property prices have increased.

According to the Halifax’s three monthly index, house prices were 1.1 per cent lower in February than in the previous three months.

The mortgage lender’s annual index showed that property prices fell by 1.9 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Nationally, the average house price in February 2012 was £160,118, showing little change from April 2011 when the average price was £160,393.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, said: “Overall, prices nationally are at broadly the same level as last spring.

“This stability in prices is explained by the fact that market conditions have changed very little over this period with demand supported by low interest rates and supply remaining tight.”

The outlook for the housing market in 2012 will be influence by the outcome of the eurozone crisis, while recent economic statistics suggesting that the UK may avoid falling into another recession are good news for the property sector.

Last week Nationwide Building Society said that house prices rose by 0.6 per cent in February 2012.

The building society reported that the average house price in February 2012 was £162,712, 0.9 per cent higher than in February 2011.

The improvement was attributed to increased activity by first time buyers trying to purchase a property before the stamp duty exemption is lifted on 24 March.

Nationwide reported a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in housing transactions and a 36 per cent increase in mortgage approvals.

The Land Registry also recently reported an increase in house prices, with a 1.1 per cent rise in January 2012.

However, on a year-on-year basis, the Land Registry said prices had declined by 1 per cent.

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