British house prices rise in SeptemberFriday, October 02, 2009
LONDON - British house prices climbed 0.9 percent in September from August, the fifth monthly increase in a row, reaching levels last seen one year ago, home-loans provider Nationwide said on Friday.
However, the group warned that house prices may not continue at the current rate amid soaring unemployment and tight lending conditions.
The British property market has been set sharply back by the effects of the financial and economic crisis.
The average value of a home in Britain stood at 161,816 pounds (176,800 euros, 257,000 dollars), unchanged from a year ago, Nationwide said in a statement.
“The further increase in house prices is very much consistent with improvements in a broad range of economic and financial indicators over the last few months, all of which suggest that the most intense phase of the recession and financial crisis has probably passed,” said Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer.
“However, given that the housing market still faces considerable headwinds in the form of high unemployment, restrictive credit conditions and an impending withdrawal of the stamp duty holiday, it would be surprising to see house prices continuing to increase at the very strong rate seen in recent months.”
Britons are currently exempt from paying stamp duty — the tax paid by property buyers — for houses and flats costing less than 175,000 pounds. The so-called “stamp duty holiday” runs until the end of the year.Source: [Khaleej Times News]