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Written by rosalind renshaw

House prices were up 0.6% in February on the previous month, Nationwide has said, with a rise in activity likely to be a temporary blip caused by first-time buyers trying to beat the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.

The average house price is now £162,712 – 0.9% higher than a year ago.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Evidence that house prices picked up a little in February follows a series of data releases suggesting that economic conditions may not be quite as weak as feared after the UK economy contracted in the final quarter of 2011.  

“Surveys of activity in the manufacturing and service sectors point to a rebound in January, while consumer confidence and retail spending were both stronger than expected during the month.
 
“Measures of activity in the housing market have also picked up, with the number of housing transactions rising by 23% year on year in January and the number of UK mortgage approvals – a leading indicator of sales – up 36%.
 
“However, it remains to be seen whether this trend will be sustained. Given the still challenging economic backdrop this increase in housing market activity may be the result of a temporary rise in first-time buyers entering the market to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday before it expires in March. 

“If so, this may continue to support activity and prices in the near term before cooling over summer.”

Comments

  • Rant- correct.

    • 06 March 2012 13:50 PM
  • House prices in Hartlepool are down over 15% in the last year and transactions there are reportedly UP.

    Oh, I forgot, this does not count as a HPC because it's outside the South East ; )

    • 06 March 2012 12:35 PM
  • Right,

    Who’s in a good mood because it’s sunny and there is more than a whiff of spring about today?

    Well here we are, can you believe its March 2012? Mrs Jonnie has been online looking at villas for us and the Jonniettes this summer, Christmas is a distant memory and there are hot cross buns and easter eggs in the shops……………doesn’t time fly eh?

    Now, who remembers November 2007 – most of us, that was the month that Northern Rock came a cropper and probably the start of the decline in the market, 2008 savaged the estate agency industry, the American BTL and sub prime boys and girls repo’d as much as they could, flogged it and jumped on a plane back home. 2009 we all seemed to do okay with our new found lower overheads, fewer competitors and the wonder of lettings.

    2010 and 2011 came and went and we all got settled in to lower volumes and Ireland going pop, Greece doing whatever they did the Euro doing whatever it did inflation doing its bit and unemployment having a bit of a run of it, the yanks getting their credit score slashed, QE, stricter lending blah, blah, blah.

    So despite my good mood today its been a rough old 4 years with so many things going on im sure ive left 90% of them out although the media and all economic commentators have been resolutely negative as is the fashion these days and somewhere in all this some hateful chains of shops went bust…………although we all loved Wollies.

    Every year our HPC buddies have picked the crappy bits of news and told us that it will bring them lovely cheap houses and EA’s lovely high sales volumes.

    So, here we are 4 years on, and nothing has really come of these predictions, they keep getting made but just on the back of the new ‘bad thing’ of the moment as the ‘old bad’ things never have the effect our HPC friends say they will.

    HPC’ers have even had to factor in inflation and sort of changed how price drops are calculated – once upon a time if a house was worth £300k in January and £300k in December it hadn’t dropped in price but under the new way its dropped X % depending on…………well im not sure but they have a new way of doing it.

    Im starting to think they are telling me lies and the latent rush of HPC bargain hunters that will restore volumes will never come.

    Jonnie

    • 06 March 2012 11:50 AM
  • and down according to Halifax.....these stats are meaningless!

    • 06 March 2012 11:10 AM
  • and don't forget Japan.

    • 05 March 2012 14:12 PM
  • noted interest rates are on the up today...looks like just about everything is stacked against prices rising

    1/interest rates going up
    2/unemployment going up
    3/lenders tightening
    4/interest only mortgages practically banned

    anyone invested in property is going to have a huge shock to their financial well being.

    and they only have themselves to blame

    parties end abruptly

    • 03 March 2012 16:35 PM
  • @PbroAgent on 2012-03-02 13:24:03

    Good showI I believe you.
    However, tell "Dave" (before he moves to Japan.to buy a bargain.. ;>) )and "Brit 1234",, they will take some convincing? ;o)

    • 02 March 2012 15:41 PM
  • It's call a spring bounce Nationwide, it's why you seasonally fiddle...I mean adjust your figures.

    @Ray Evans - "Almost 10.30 a.m. and only one comment!
    Does this mean we are all getting "Mmaxed Out" by the constant flood of statistics?"

    No, we're too busy actually selling houses ;o)

    • 02 March 2012 13:24 PM
  • Brit1234 - I believe the market performance to continue beyond the SD cut off point and into the Summer, followed by an expected slow down to the year end. Then we'll really see in January 13.

    Do you mean it will "die down" after the Olympics, or completely rest in peace?

    • 02 March 2012 13:21 PM
  • It will be positive figures with Olympics and stamp duty, then market will die in second half of 2012.

    • 02 March 2012 10:40 AM
  • Almost 10.30 a.m. and only one comment!
    Does this mean we are all getting "Mmaxed Out" by the constant flood of statistics? If so, what a good thing!

    • 02 March 2012 10:26 AM
  • # Always look on the bright side of life #

    • 02 March 2012 07:33 AM