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2 April 2011

House prices up 1% so far in 2011

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by Gill Montia

House prices up 1% so far in 2011

Nationwide has reported a mixed picture for the UK housing market, with prices rising in eight out of 13 regions in the first three months of 2011.

Overall house prices increased 1%, to an average £162,379, but the rise was not sufficient to prevent the annual rate of change slipping to -0.3%.

Yorkshire and Humberside saw the strongest quarterly rise with prices up 3.4%, moderating the region’s annual fall to -0.9%.

Northern Ireland remained the weakest region, with prices down 2.2% during the quarter, taking the annual decline back into double figures, at -10.8%.

Meanwhile, quarterly price growth in London rebounded after a weak end to 2010, with price up 2.3%, giving an annual rise of 2.1%.

Scotland saw a 0.3% quarter-on-quarter increase, although the annual rate of change remained flat, with prices down 2% year-on-year.

In Wales prices rose 0.6% in the three months to the end of March but the region saw a further decline in the annual rate of change to -2.6%, making Wales second weakest region on an annual basis, behind Northern Ireland.

Turning to the North/South divide, Nationwide points out that the northern regions of England (North, Yorkshire and Humberside, North West, East Midlands and West Midlands) have now all seen price falls over the past five years, whilst the southern regions have all seen price rises, with the exception of East Anglia.

According to the lender, this has resulted in a significant widening of the North/South divide with average prices in the south now 65% higher than those in the north, compared with 44% five years ago.

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