Nationwide survey shows 1% rise in house prices

House prices have risen 1%, Nationwide&#39s House Price Survey for July reveals.

The survey also indicates that 2003 is to see the lowest first-time buyer numbers for over 20 years, with typical first-time buyer deposits nearing £30,000 in London.

The society says house prices continued to rise at a steady pace in July with the price of the typical property up 1%, compared with June&#39s increase of 0.9%. A typical house now costs £128,251, up around £11,000 on the start of the year and 17.9% on July last year.

Nationwide&#39s group economist Alex Bannister says: “House price inflation remains lower in more expensive regions such as London and its immediate commuter belt. Activity is broadly mirroring the regional pattern of price growth, resulting in a marked change to the mix of properties being sold, with London and the South-East accounting for a smaller proportion of UK sales than was the case a year ago.”

Bannister adds that Nationwide&#39s forecast of a 10% rise in house prices during 2003 implies monthly increases of just over 0.4% for the remainder of the year.

Bannister also says: “The generally high level of house prices, deposit requirements and some employment uncertainty are combining to dampen house purchase activity particularly from first-time buyers. Nevertheless, although there is every indication that the housing market is slowing without major problems, the current rate of house price growth remains strong and the likelihood of house price inflation in 2003 being lower than 10% has reduced.

“First-time buyers add impetus to the housing market as they constitute net new demand. Nevertheless, even with fewer of them, house prices can continue to rise but the pace ofgrowth tends to slacken. This is because with fewer new buyers chasing each property, existing homeowners take longer to sell their homes and chains tend to lengthen.”