House prices in the U.K. up for first time since Oct 2007

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House prices increased in March in the U.K. according to Nationwide Building Society. Below is what Nationwide’s Chief Economist Fionnuala Earley had to say about this surprise good news:

“Spring brought a surprise bounce to house prices in March. The price of a typical house increased for the first time since October 2007, rising by 0.9% during the month and reducing the annual rate of fall from -17.6% to -15.7%. This brings the price of a typical house to £150,946. The moderation in the annual rate of fall is somewhat distorted by conditions last year and so it would be unwise to draw strong conclusions from the significant slowdown in the annual rate of fall. Equally, while the rise in prices in March is welcome, it is far too soon to see this as evidence that the trough of the market has been reached. The Bank of England has already taken strong measures to ease the tensions in economic and financial markets by cutting rates and commencing quantitative easing. However it will take time for these to work through into the housing market before we can expect a sustained recovery in house prices.”

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I have been especially negative about the U.K. and Irish housing markets. However, you should note that the comparisons to last year are much better for March than they were for February. Obviously, this is just one month’s data. Let’s see if this uptick is a harbinger of better things to come.

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Source
Surprise Bounce to House Prices – Nationwide

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