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House prices stable says Nationwide

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by Jan Harris
House prices stable says Nationwide

The average price of a house remained at just under £164,000 in November, the same as the previous month but 1.2 per cent lower than in November last year.

The average house price is now 12 per cent lower than it was in October 2007 when it peaked at £186,044.

The figures from the Nationwide’s latest monthly survey reflect a fall in unemployment to 2.5 million in the past year.

This has stopped house prices falling more quickly, Nationwide economist Robert Gardner said.

Continuing low interest rates have also placed downward pressure on property prices.

“UK house prices were unchanged over the month in November, after taking account of normal seasonal factors,” Mr Gardner said.

“Moreover, annual price growth has remained in a narrow band between +1.5 per cent and -1.5 per cent on all but two occasions over the past two years.”

Despite mortgage scarcity continuing, especially for first-time-buyers, property sales in the first 10 months of the year were 7 per cent higher than in the 2011 same period last.

The government has launched an £80 billion scheme designed to increase lending to households and this has caused mortgage availability to increase, but mortgages remain in short supply for people with smaller deposits.

Meanwhile, the Land Registry reports that property prices in London increased by 7 per cent over the past year to £364,574, a record high.

London property prices grew 1 per cent in October, with low mortgage rates attracting first time buyers and foreign investors.

The biggest annual rise was recorded in Kensington & Chelsea where average prices increased by 15.9 per cent to £1.09 million.

Westminster saw an increase of 14.6 per cent and average house prices in Hammersmith and Fulham grew by 10 per cent.

The Land Registry reported flat property prices across the rest of the UK.

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News posted: November 29, 2012

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