‘Momentum’ Returns to the Market

House prices have shown a further increase according to figures published by Nationwide today, indicating that the market is moving, but doing so slowly.

Nationwide’s Group Economist Alex Bannister commented: ‘The price of the typical house rose a further 1% during September, meaning that prices have risen by at least £1000 per month in all but 3 of the last 18 months.

‘The typical house now costs £130,473 which is 15.5% higher than in September last year.’

Mr Bannister went on to say that it was clear that some momentum had returned to the market: ‘Some of this relative strength may reflect buyers choosing now to enter the market or trade up, having been put off earlier in the year because of uncertainty related to the Iraq War or talk of the impending house price crash.’

However, despite the 1% increase the rate of growth is still relatively weak compared with last year, when prices were 25% higher than before.

Regional diversity was again remarkable, with Brighton and Hove and Belfast seeing the strongest price rises, along with the north west.

Looking forward to next year, the key issue as far as Nationwide is concerned is that rising debt levels mean the consumer sector is more vulnerable to a rise in interest rates or unemployment.