House prices 'on the increase again'

30 September 2003
House prices rose again during the last month, the Nationwide Building Society claims.

A survey by the society showed that prices rose by one per cent during the month, reflecting the return of momentum to the UK housing market, Nationwide said.

The research put the cost of an average home at £130,463.

House prices have now risen by at least one per cent on all but three of the last 18 months.

The UK continues to enjoy low interest rates on borrowing and strong consumer confidence levels.

Nationwide economist Alex Bannister said: "Some of this relative strength may reflect buyers choosing now to enter the market or trade up, having been put off earlier in the year because of uncertainty in the run up to the Iraq war and the significant amount of comment about an impending housing market crash."

However, the Nationwide places the annual rise in house prices at 15.5 per cent, the lowest for 18 months.

The figures also showed sharp regional variations, with growth in London of 8.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2003 compared with growth for the third quarter in the North of 31.6 per cent.

Over the last 12 years, the building society revealed that Belfast and Brighton and Hove had seen the strongest price rises, gaining 248 per cent and 210 per cent respectively since 1991.