Property Wire: UK prices unchanged on a monthly basis, according to latest Nationwide index
Thu 28 Mar 2013
The prices of a typical home in the UK was unchanged between February and March, but was 0.8% higher than a year ago, the latest index from Nationwide shows.
It means that the average home is now worth 164,630 and house price growth has now moved into positive territory for the first time since February 2012.
Nationwide also published its first quarterly index of 2013 which shows prices up 0.8% since the last quarter of 2012.
But it is a mixed picture across UK regions with seven out of 13 regions seeing annual price rises in the first quarter of 2013 and London remaining the best performing region on an annual basis, with prices at a new record high and Scotland the worst performing.
London remains the most expensive region with prices up 4.6% compared with the first quarter of 2012 and the city has seen the greatest recovery in prices of any part of the country with prices now higher than their peak of 306,919 in 2007.Wales saw the second largest price growth in the first quarter on an annual basis, up 2.5%. Northern Ireland still has the least expensive homes but has seen a marked improvement in annual price growth from a fall of 8.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to a fall on 0.9% in the first three months of 2013.
However, prices remain around half of their pre-crisis peak. Scotland was the worst performing region on an annual basis, with prices down 4.9% year on year. Amongst the English regions, the South of England and the Midlands continued to outperform the North of England.
Outside of London, the Outer Metropolitan was the strongest performing region, with annual price growth of 1.6%, whilst the North West was the weakest, with prices down 1.8% over the year.
Peter Rollings, chief executive offier of agents Marsh & Parsons, said the figures show that London is regarded as a safe haven for property investments. 'A relative shortage of stock sees house prices in the capital setting new records according to Nationwide. Demand is coming from both home and abroad and is set to continue with the much anticipated return to more seasonable Spring like weather,' he explained.
He also pointed out that measures announced recently in the UK 2013 Budget, while unlikely to be felt until next year when the mortgage guarantee for second hand homes comes into force in January, will also provide a stimulus to get the housing market moving at a more rapid pace.
'This is essential as it will enable people to move onto the ladder and for those existing owners to move up. This mobility will bring more homes onto the market and free the log jam at the lower end. But for now London house prices are immune to the ramifications of whats happening in Cyprus and the wider Eurozone,' he added.