House prices edge back up but market is still in the doldrums

Ben Southwood
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HOUSE PRICES climbed during last month, Nationwide revealed yesterday, bouncing back after the slip in September and months of weakness in the housing market.

The Nationwide house price index grew 0.6 per cent last month, after the 0.4 per cent slip into September. Earlier slips mean the index is still 0.9 per cent lower than it was a full year ago, but this is an improvement on last month, when the yearly decline measured at 1.4 per cent.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said both the monthly increase and the yearly decline fed into a generally flat interpretation of the housing market. “Monthly price changes have failed to establish a strong trend in either direction over the past six months,” Gardner said, “The annual pace of change continues to display a picture of relative stability.”

Gardner judged that the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme was supporting housing demand, but said the scheme could not hold it up alone, especially in such a tough overall economic climate.