Inflation On the Up

House prices fell slightly during February according to the latest Government figures. The average house price in the UK during February, not taking into account seasonal factors, was £179,491, down 0.5% on January.

However, the falls were lower than the same period last year, and therefore house price inflation during February was up. UK annual house price inflation was 10.5%, up from 10.0% in January.

According to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister?s (ODPM) figures, England and Scotland saw increases in annual house price inflation while Northern Ireland and Wales both saw a fall.

England?s regional figures showed a distinct North/South divide, with the strongest inflation rates occurring in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the weakest rates occurring in the East, London and the South East.

Ed Stansfield, Property Economist at specialists Capital Economics, said that the trends showed that the declines are spreading out from the capital and into most other regions of the country.

Their interpretation of the statistics reveals that the slowdown could be intensifying. Anecdotal evidence continues to suggest that buyers remain cautious, they say, and that sales, although improving, are disappointing for the time of year.

?Although we would not expect the ODPM house price index to register consistent price falls over the next few months, we expect the underlying trend in house prices to weaken further over the remainder of this year,? said Mr Stansfield.