Mixed messages on UK house prices

Posted: 11 Apr 2006 10:07:32 GMT

            Property News - Mixed messages on UK house prices

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has released its House Price Index for February, but analysts are indicating that the situation is far from clear cut.

According to the statistics from the ODPM, the mix-adjusted average house price in the UK in February was £183,224, representing a gentle fall from £185,404 in January.

Annual house price inflation in the month was also down from 4.3 cent to 3.6 per cent, although extenuating factors must be considered in relation to both statistics.

February is typically a slow month for the housing market and a slump in house prices is certainly not unusual.

To gain a greater overview of the current state of the market, it is also important to look at more recent surveys from within the industry – the vast majority of which have pointed to steady growth.

The Quarterly Regional Review from Nationwide suggested that house prices had climbed by around 2.3 per cent during the first three months of the year, which was the fastest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2004.

The general consensus seems to be that the market will continue to grow over the coming months, with house prices rising in the vast majority of areas.

There are clearly still pressures on first-time buyers and former owner occupiers alike, although the moderate slowdown observed by the ODPM may provide hope to some that the situation could soon be alleviated.

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