House price increases stabilise at 10 per cent

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The Independent Online

The housing market will enter the new year in a "resilient" state, estate agents say as the latest survey shows asking prices have stabilised.

The housing market will enter the new year in a "resilient" state, estate agents say as the latest survey shows asking prices have stabilised.

Research published today by Rightmove, a property website covering almost 250,000 homes, shows the average asking price of a home rose 0.3 per cent this month. This left the annual inflation at 9.6 per cent, the fourth month in a row it has held between 9 and 10 per cent following a marked slowdown in the first half of 2003.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "After the heady boom of the past 18 months, it comes as something of a relief to see the market return to more stable conditions. Contrary to some speculation that we would see house prices tumble, the market is looking steady and resilient."

Rightmove reported price falls in London, the South West, East Anglia, Wales and the West Midlands. The North, Scotland and - surprisingly - the South East saw rises.

"Now we're seeing the market in a cooler, calmer condition, and with borrowing rates still very low and consumer confidence pretty sound, I'm expecting a sound start to 2004."

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