House prices rise unexpectedly

Published by Reuters
on Tuesday, 1 Mar 2011 by Peter Griffiths
House prices rose unexpectedly in February after a small fall at the start of the year, a survey showed on Tuesday, a sign that uncertainty in the property market is set to continue.

Prices climbed by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent month-on-month, defying economists’ forecasts for a fall of 0.3 percent following January’s 0.1 percent drop.

The annual rate of house price inflation slipped by 0.1 percent in February, much less than the revised 1.4 percent drop seen in January. That took the average house price to 161,183 pounds.

“The overall picture is one of a market treading water,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist. “Given that the recovery hit a soft patch at the turn of the year and looks set to remain sluggish in the year ahead, the property market is likely to follow suit.”

Doubts about the strength …

Tags: forecasts, house, house price, market, property, reuters, survey

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