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Nationwide: Property prices down 0.2%

01 March 2006
House prices fell by 0.2 per cent last month, according to new research.

This dip follows a large increase in January when house prices were up 1.5 per cent, which was the largest rise in more than a year and a half.

On average, a property now costs £158,573, according to a survey by Nationwide, which also reveals that this figure is 3.7 per cent higher than it was this time last year.

Despite February's fall, housing market analysts are still positive about the coming months.

"House prices tend to move seasonally, driven up by higher demand and activity in the warmer months and falling off towards Christmas," said Greg Fuzesi, senior economist at Nationwide.

"Just as the trading period over Christmas is crucial for the retail sector, the spring and summer are crucial for the housing market."

However, Mr Fuzesi was cautious about the fact that a strong end to 2005 might mean there is not much room left for the market to grow.

This he said was due to the fact that first-time buyers are being priced out of the market and an uncertain economic climate might delay a number of house purchase decisions.

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