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UK Q4 annual house price growth 6.9 pct vs 9.3 pct in Q3 - Nationwide

Friday, January 4, 2008

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - UK house price growth dropped during the fourth quarter, with Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and Humberside seeing the biggest slowdown, according to figures from Nationwide.

In a quarterly survey of the sector, the country's biggest building society said house prices were up an annual 6.9 pct in the final three months of 2007 compared to 9.3 pct in the third quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter basis prices rose 1.0 pct, compared to 1.6 pct in the previous period.

The biggest slowdowns came in Northern Ireland, and Yorkshire and Humberside, which both saw prices fall on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

Looking ahead, the building society said house prices in the south east are likely to have some support due to a lack of supply in the market, but tighter financial conditions mean the property sector as a whole is in for a tough time. However Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide chief economist, said the number of people wanting to buy a property means there is unlikely to be a long-term decline in property prices.

"In the short-term supply issues are likely to provide some support in the areas where supply constraints are most critical, but over the longer term, the growth in pent-up demand is likely to mean that the market will turn around more rapidly once confidence and affordability have been restored to more usual levels," she said.

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 1:26 AM  


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