According to Nationwide house prices dropped by 1% over 2012, reversing the 1% increase recorded in 2011! Activity in the housing market is set to remain subdued this year amid the difficult economy, with prices at similar levels or drifting “modestly lower” over 2013.
London recorded the strongest house price increase of all the UK regions, with prices up by 0.7% at the end of 2012 compared with a year earlier. The South West was the only other region to record a slight price increase over the year with a 0.2% rise, and all other areas saw falls, Nationwide’s report said. House prices in England have tended to be more resilient, declining by 0.4% over 2012 to reach £186,390.
A North/South divide in the market has widened. The price of a home is typically around £95,000 more in the South than in the North, representing a new high and a 2% increase compared with the end of 2011.
The Government launched a multibillion-pound scheme at the start of August to boost lending, which has already caused mortgage availability to increase.
Figures from the Bank of England and the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) have shown a recent pick-up in mortgage approvals to home buyers and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said it expects the housing market to “feel more stable and positive” in 2013.
“The housing market is likely to be characterised by low levels of activity again in 2013, with prices remaining flat or modestly lower over the course of the year”, says Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist!
Hometrack says house prices are expected to edge down by 1% during 2013. Halifax has predicted house prices are likely to be flat in 2013, while Rightmove believes a shortage of homes on the market will help push up asking prices up by around 2% this year.
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