House prices ended 2010 higher than start of year

uk_house_prices_valuationsHouse prices ended 2010 barely higher than they began the year, according to a survey conducted by the Nationwide building society.

In the latest survey, it is told that prices increased by 0.4% last month, leaving them almost the same amount up on the rate of a year ago – which means the average UK house now costs slightly under £163,000. However, Nationwide forecasts that prices will continue to decrease in the first six months of next year, in the same fashion they have for the previous few months.

Speaking on the findings, Nationwide’s chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, told how despite December’s increase, prices of UK houses have fallen again as they did in four of the preceding six months. At the moment, according to Gahbauer himself, it would be too premature to even suggest that the downward trend will be broken based on the figures of one month. However, he also pointed out that the December figures in question do highlight the unavoidable fact that any current downtrends are only modest, especially when compared to the last six months of 2008.

Many commentators within the industry expect that house prices will fall in 2011 – although admittedly some still have their reservations. While some UK estate agents and similar property businesses have forecast drops of anything up to 5%, others have suggested that it could actually be double this.

In 2010, a key issue was that potential sellers soon started to outnumber potential buyers, putting a downward pressure on prices, none more so than in the last six months of the year – a trend that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.

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