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House prices refuse to drop despite falling ownership

Nationwide survey shows prices remain stable in February

House prices edged up by an average 0f £393 in February according to the Nationwide house price index. An average home is now worth £162,638, an increase of 0,2% on January but almost exactly the same as February 2012.

As a result of prices refusing to drop it is unsurprising that home ownership has continued to fall. In November we released The Death of a Dream which revealed that home ownership in the UK was at the lowest level since 1988 and had been in decline since 2002. In London home owners had become a minority with the capital having turned into a city of renters. The latest census data confirms this trend is continuing.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘There are reasons for cautious optimism that activity will gather momentum in the months ahead… However, progress is likely to be gradual, as stubbornly high inflation will continue to exert pressure on household budgets. Moreover, buyer confidence is likely to remain fragile until there are signs that the wider economic recovery is firmly entrenched.’

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