Nationwide sees steady price rise

The survey shows an increase of 2% in property prices leading to an annual growth rate of 25.5%.

Commenting on the figures, Alex Bannister, Nationwide’s Group Economist, said: “The strong upward trend in prices continued in November with the price of a typical home up 2% or just over £2,000 on a month earlier. November’s price rise takes the year-on-year increase in prices above the 25% mark for the first time in over 13 years… Our prices, in conjunction with the lending data, suggest house sales, which tend to lag approvals by around 6-9 weks, will strengthen from their current 131,000 level throughout December and into the New Year.”

Despite recent comments suggesting a gloomy outlook for 2003, Nationwide expects the market to slow modestly in response to deterioration in labour market conditions and some increase in mortgage rates. However, the society believes it will be affordability that increasingly provides a brake on the market - not just through difficulties for the first-time buyer, but also for existing homeowners. But, as Bannister said: “…given we expect only a modest weakening in conditions for homebuyers, a fifth year of double-digit house price growth cannot be ruled out".