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31 December 2009

House prices rise for eighth consecutive month

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by Kay Mitchell

House prices rise for eighth consecutive month

According to the Nationwide, UK house prices have risen for the eighth month in a row.

The building society said house prices rose by 0.4% in December compared with November, taking the average cost of a home to £162,103.

Prices have continued to rise due to a shortage of properties up for sale, said the Nationwide.

The building society added that during 2009, house prices were up by 5.9%, recovering from the severe falls experienced in 2008 and that despite the recession, the past decade was the strongest on record for house prices.

Since the end of 1999, property values are up by 117% said the Nationwide.

While the recovery in house prices has surprised many housing experts, the outlook for 2010 remains uncertain, said the building society.

Commenting on today’s figures, Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer, said: “Few could have foreseen this development at the start of the year, when the near-term price trend was still pointing to a repeat of the double-digit annual decline experienced in 2008.”

“However, the experience of 2009 demonstrates how unpredictable the market is at the current juncture and that one should always be prepared for the UK housing market to surprise,” he added.

Yesterday, the Land Registry reported a rise in house prices in England and Wales for the month of November.

According to the Registry, house prices rose by 0.9% in November compared with October putting the average cost of a home at £161,554.

However, it must be noted that the Land Registry compiles its data from completed transactions and therefore lags behind other monitors of the housing market but is generally regarded as the most authoritative.

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