House prices fall in February

Published by Rebecca Atkinson on 28 February 2008.
Last updated on 06 March 2008

Row of houses

Property prices fell by 0.5% in February bringing house price inflation to its lowest level since November 2005.

The Nationwide house price index shows property prices fell in February for the fourth consecutive month. The average price of a house in the UK is now £179,358 - down from £180,473 in 2007, according to the building society.

Fionnuala Earley, chief economist at Nationwide, said: “The trend in prices is clearly weakening, but the size of the drop in the annual rate between January and February perhaps overstates the rate of cooling as it partly reflects the particularly strong increase in prices in February last year.”

Despite believing that a recession in the UK is “unlikely”, Earley warns that home owners are unlikely to see the recent rise in property values repeated anytime soon.

But she added: “There is currently an unprecedented amount of uncertainty about future economic conditions, but if the Bank of England’s central projection that the economy continues to grow is correct, conditions for the UK housing market are perhaps less gloomy than some would have us believe.”

The figures from Nationwide, the fifth largest mortgage lender in the UK last year, contrast with those from the Land Registry which show house prices increased in January - albeit by just 0.9%.

The Land Registry reports that all regions in England saw prices increase in January from the previous month, with properties in the North West seeing the largest rise of 2%.

However, properties in Wales fell in price by 0.3% bringing the average house price to £140,289 (see tables below).

Its figures also show that prices in England and Wales were up on an annual basis by 6.4%. However, the growth of annual house price inflation fell slightly in January, from 6.7% the previous month.

Nationwide house price index August 2007 to February 2008:

  Monthly change Annual change Average price
August 2007 0.5% 9.6% £183,898
September 2007 0.6% 9% £184,723
October 2007 1.1% 9.7% £186,044
November 2007 -1% 6.9% £184.099
December 2007 -0.5% 4.8% £182,080
January 2008 -0.3% 4.2% £180,473
February 2008 -0.5% 2.7% £179,358
Source: Nationwide 29/02/08

Land Registry house price index January 2008 by region:

Region Monthly change Annual change Average price
North West 2% 5.8% £139,362
London 1.5% 13.1% £357,976
East Midlands 1.5% 3.4% £146,288
West Midlands 1.3% 3.9% £155,405
South East 1.1% 7.8% £231,958
South West 1% 5.4% £198,401
North East 0.9% 5.4% £132,458
Yorkshire & The Humber 0.9% 4.3% £147,201
East 0.2% 5.7% £195,245
Wales -0.3% 1.3% £140,289
Source: Land Registry 28/02/08


Land Registry house prices January 2008 by property type:

  January 2007 January 2008 Difference
Detached £266,509 £278,362 4.4%
Semi-detached £165,038 £174,691 5.8%
Terraced £136,853 £146,127 6.8%
Flat/maisonette £163,289 £175,712 7.6%
All £174,826 £186,045 6.4%
Source: Land Registry 28/02/08

 

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