House prices are stabilising – Nationwide

House prices are stabilising, according to the latest monthly report from the Nationwide building society.

Prices across the UK rose by 0.2% in July, to £168,731, leaving them just 0.4% lower than a year ago. The society said demand for homes was still sluggish, with completed sales still running at roughly half the level recorded before the banking crisis.

On Thursday, the Land Registry for England and Wales said average prices were unchanged, at £161,479.

The Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner said this stability reflected the “uncertain” state of the economy.

“House prices remain relatively high compared to incomes and, together with more demanding deposit requirements, this is dissuading, or at least delaying, some first-time buyers from entering the market,” he said.

Although prices are almost the same as they were a year ago, since July 2010 they have fallen and then recovered, according to the Nationwide’s measurement.

Since December 2010, the average house price, not seasonally adjusted, has now gone up by 4%. Economists often argue that the best guide to short-term trends is to compare the average price over the last three months with that of the previous three.

The Nationwide says on that basis, prices have risen by just 0.3%.

Source: BBC