Thursday, April 29 2004

House prices rose again in April, by as much as 2.1%, according to Nationwide’s latest figures. This brings the annual house price inflation rise up to 18.9% from 16.7% last month.

The average price of a house according to Nationwide is now £145,918 up from £142,584 in March.

This rate of inflation means that house prices are currently rising by as much as £100 a day, but the mortgage lender points out that the country is still regionally polarised with rapid price rises in the north outstripping slower growth in the pricier south east.

Alex Bannister, Nationwide’s Group Economist, said that they thought price falls are unlikely in the coming months, although a slowdown is expected later this year.

‘Our expectation remains that prices will rise a further 8% over the remainder of the year, taking the increase in prices to 15% in 2004,’ he said.

‘The economy is set to stay supportive to the housing market with unemployment remaining low and confidence relatively high.

‘However, muted underlying income growth, gradually rising interest rates and buyers downgrading expectations of future house price growth will cause the market to cool over the second half of the year,’ he continued.