Saturday, May 1, 2010

UK house prices rise by 1% for 2nd straight month in April

HOUSE prices in Britain rose by one per cent for the second straight month in April, taking the annual rate of increase into double digits for the first time in nearly three years, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Nationwide building society said March's house price rise had been revised to one per cent from 0.7 per cent published in March. Taking the two months together meant house prices in April were 10.5 per cent higher than a year ago, up from a 9 per cent annual increase in March and the highest since June 2007.

But the property market resurgence after the ravages of the credit crunch does not seem to be translating into any rise in support for the incumbent Labour Party as it struggles in third place in opinion polls ahead of an election next week.

Since the last election in 2005, house prices have risen by 6.7 per cent compared with a 13.5 per cent rise in consumer price inflation, Nationwide said, as prices fell sharply through much of 2008.

House prices are still 10 per cent below their October 2007 peak and Nationwide warned that the double-digit rate of house price inflation may not be maintained over the coming months.

'The year-on-year rate in this month's figures received an additional boost from the fact that April 2009 was one of the weaker months last year,' said Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's chief economist.

The average house price stood at £167,802 (S$351,841) in April compared with £164,519 in March. -- Reuters

Source: Business Times, 1 May 2010

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