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House prices at September 2008 levels

House prices rose again in September, the fifth consecutive increase for the Nationwide index, putting prices back to where they were a year ago

The upward momentum of house prices continued into September by rising 0.9%; the three-month-on-three month rate also shows a rise from 3.3% in August to 3.8% in September – this figure hasn’t risen so quickly since August 2004.

The average price of a UK property is now £161,816, which is essentially the same as it was a year ago, and represents the first time since March 2008 that the annual rate of change has been positive.

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‘The further increase in house prices is very much consistent with improvements in a broad range of economic and financial indicators over the last few months, all of which suggest that the most intense phase of the recession and financial crisis has probably passed,’ said Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide’s Chief Economist.

‘However, given that the housing market still faces considerable headwinds in the form of high unemployment, restrictive credit conditions and an impending withdrawal of the stamp duty holiday, it would be surprising to see house prices continuing to increase at the very strong rate seen in recent months.’

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