Nationwide: House prices up 1.4% in January

01 February 2006
House prices increased in January by the largest amount since July 2004, according to a new report.

The price of property rose by 1.4 per cent last month, the seventh consecutive month of price gain, the Nationwide figures reveal.

But despite the large increase experienced in January, the average British house value is now just 4.4 per cent higher than a year ago at £158,478. This is because 2005 was a year of small rises and now the average price is £158,478.

Fionnuala Earley, group economist at Nationwide, does not feel that this buoyant start to the year will continue.

"We think that at least part of the pick up in the market since October reflects a release of some pent-up demand following the cut in interest rates in August and the increased confidence on the part of buyers and sellers as they became more comfortable that the market was heading for a soft landing," she said.

Ms Earley said that she does not feel that the strong "pickup" over the last few months will continue do to the predictions that the economy in 2006 will see below-trend growth and the problem of affordability.

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