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House prices back at 2008 levels, says Nationwide

House prices have recovered to the same level that they were at a year ago, the latest figures from Nationwide reveal.

The average UK house price was £161,816 in September 2009 compared to £161,797 in September 2008.

Average house prices were up marginally on August’s figure of £160,224.

Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer says: “Momentum in house prices has continued into September, with the price of a typical house increasing by 0.9 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“The three month on three month rate of change – generally a smoother indicator of the near term trend – rose from 3.3 per cent in August to 3.8 per cent in September, the highest level since August 2004.”

He adds: “At £161,816, the average price of a typical UK property was essentially unchanged from a year earlier, representing the first time since March 2008 that the year-on-year rate of change has not been negative.

“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.”

But Gahbauer warns 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.

He says it would be surprising to see house prices continuing to increase at the very strong rate seen in recent months.

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