Weak demand keeps house prices steady

Tim Wallace
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PRICES increased slightly in September compared with August’s level but fell over the last quarter and year, a leading poll showed yesterday.

Nationally, prices rose by 0.1 per cent on a monthly basis, but declined by 0.1 per cent over the past three months, and by 0.3 per cent over the year to September.

The average house in the UK now costs £166,597, the Nationwide said.

Greater London’s houses remain the most expensive in the country, at an average of £295,024, yet were among the fastest fallers in recent months. Prices fell by 2.5 per cent over the quarter, a rate of decline exceeded only by the north west, at 2.5 per cent, and Northern Ireland at 4.1 per cent.

Greater London prices increased 0.5 per cent over the year, while central London’s increased by four per cent.

“Sluggish demand for homes on the back of weak labour market conditions, combined with only a gradual rise in the supply of available properties, has helped to keep property prices fairly stable since the summer of 2010,” said Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner. “We expect this to continue for the rest of the year.”