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Market maintains momentum

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  • 15/12/2003
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The House Price Index October 2003 from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has put the average ...

The House Price Index October 2003 from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has put the average house price in the UK at £161,365 with prices up 12.1% on the year before.

The figures also show the average price for first time buyers was £126,803. The index is to undergo a quality audit with a view to it becoming a national statistic next year.

Figures from the Halifax and Nationwide showed average prices in the UK up 14.1% and 15.2% respectively for the month of November.

Alex Bannister, group economist at Nationwide, said: “The housing market looks set to finish 2003 on a strong note and carry over much of the momentum into the early part of next year. Given the likelihood of a positive start to the year we expect prices to rise by 9% in 2004. Price growth in the second half of 2004 should slow as the one-off effects [favourable economic and labour market conditions] unwind and consumers adjust to higher interest rates and taxes, worsening affordability and a downward revision to their expectations for house price growth.”

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, added: “House prices rose by 1% during November and are now 14.1% higher than a year ago. The gradual easing in house price growth reflects a market returning to average house price rises after two years of exceptional increases.”

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