United Kingdom: Home prices post moderate recovery
March 31, 2011
In March, the average price of a typical property in the U.K. increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5% over the previous month, based on data collected by the mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society (NBS). The reading followed on a 0.7% price increase recorded in February and beat market expectations of a 0.1% drop. Owing to the moderate recovery, housing prices are now 0.1% higher than a year ago (February: -0.1% year-on-year), although prices remain 11.4% below the peak reached in October 2007. Home prices have stagnated in previous months, as the economic recovery faltered and the government phased out stimulus measures, such as the stamp duty holiday, in an attempt to rein in the skyrocketing fiscal deficit. Going forward, Nationwide's Chief Economist Robert Gardner anticipates that home prices are likely to move ?sideways or modestly lower through 2011?, amid a fragile economic recovery.