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House prices continue to shrug off downturn Frost gets top role at Artemis

Fears of a housing market slowdown have eased after Nationwide Building Society reported a further rise in prices last month.

Nationwide&#39s house price index shows that prices rose by 0.7 per cent in November following a 0.5 per cent drop in October. The increase means the average house price is now up to £92,262 from £91,653.

But the annual rate of house price inflation fell slig-htly to 12.8 per cent from 13.1 per cent in October due to a rise in prices of almost 1 per cent in November 2000.

Group economist Alex Bannister says the figures indicate that the housing market has so far shrugged off the slowdown in the global economy despite a small dip in consumer confidence.

He points to increasing numbers of house sales, with over 140,000 properties changing hands in October – 14 per cent more than the 122,807 houses sold a year ago.

Bannister still believes there will be a slowdown in the market but says the figures show it will come later than originally anticipated.

He predicts house price growth will slow over the next six to nine months before staging a modest comeback at the end of next year. He says: “It would have been easy to conclude that the market was beginning a significant slowdown following last month&#39s fall in prices. One month on and the evidence of a slowdown is hard to find.

“Prices in the upper part of the London market have cooled in the last couple of months but across the rest of the market the evidence points to continued strong price rises.”

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