Average house price up 8,500% over Queen's reign

1 June 2012

The price of the average UK home has increased by more than 8,500% during the Queen's reign, according to figures from Nationwide.

The average house price was £1,891 in 1952, while in May this year it stood at £166,022 - an increase of 8,680% over 60 years.

House prices rose by 0.3% over the month, with Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, suggesting house prices have been "fairly stable" recently, despite the challenging economic backdrop.

However, on an annual basis, prices are down by 0.7%.

"Demand for homes remains subdued on the back of weak labour market conditions, but the lack of homes coming onto the market is proving support for prices," Gardner says.

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No sustained recovery

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says the recent figures do not suggest a "sustained recovery" in the housing market.

"As with the slight increase in mortgage approvals in April reported by the Bank of England yesterday, the volumes of business being done remain extremely low," he says.

Harris adds: "Not all lenders are keen to ramp up their lending. Some, most notably Santander, are reining back on the levels of lending they are prepared to do because of their exposure to the eurozone and the crisis that continues to rumble on there."

Ashley Alexander, managing director of estate agent Meetmyagent.co.uk, says there will be a "significant drop off" in the number of house viewings going forward, especially in light of the sporting events this summer.

He adds: "Agents will be pinning their hopes on a larger than normal September bounce in activity – fuelled perhaps by the positive impact on the UK economy of a successful summer of sport."

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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