House prices 'treading water'

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House prices continued to "tread water" last month with a 0.1% rise, mortgage lender Nationwide said today.

The typical price was £166,256 - up from £165,914 in August when there was a 0.6% month-on-month fall.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide chief economist, said prices remained flat over the year, at 0.3% lower than September 2010.

He said: "Sluggish demand for homes on the back of weak labour market conditions, combined with only a gradual rise in the supply of available properties, has helped to keep property prices fairly stable since the summer of 2010.

"We expect this trend to be maintained over the remainder of 2011, although downside risks have increased as UK and global growth prospects have weakened."

Nationwide also released its quarterly figures for June to September, when the typical UK house price was £166,597.

This represents a 0.5% drop on the same time last year and a slightly less steep fall of 0.1% on the previous quarter.

The "outer metropolitan" region saw the strongest quarterly growth, with a 1.6% rise, making average house prices £249,630.

This region covers London commuter belt hotspots including areas in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Surrey.

London homes saw a 1.9% fall on the previous quarter to £295,024, but annual growth of 0.5%.

Wales enjoyed its third quarter of price rises in a row, with a quarterly 0.2% increase to make the typical home worth £138,849, also up 0.2% on the year.

The Welsh capital Cardiff was the most expensive but also the weakest performing area, with a 2% year-on-year fall.

Prices in Scotland fell by 0.5% over the three months, averaging £137,846 and down 1.1% on the year.

Northern Ireland also had a weaker performance, with a 4.1% quarterly fall leading to prices averaging £118,723, down 9.3% on the year.

Bradford came top in the best performing regional towns/cities category, with a 9% annual increase, to make the average house price £159,956.

Belfast was the worst performing, with a 12% drop over the year to make the typical home worth £171,208.