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House prices down 13.9%

Year-on year house prices fell by 13.9% in November according to the Nationwide House Price Index.

Nationwide has revealed that prices fell by another 0.4% this month, equating to an annual rate of fall which moderated to 13.9%, up from last month’s 14.6%.

The price of a typical house is now £158,442, according to the mutual. It says this is about £25,000 less than this time last year but is still about £25,000 higher than in November 2003.

Nationwide chief economist Fionnuala Earley says: “In spite of the moderation in house price falls recorded in November, with the economy in recession, conditions do not appear very favourable for a swift recovery in the housing market.

“The labour market is weakening, which will inevitably hinder market demand, particularly when property remains expensive relative to earnings. With prices falling at their current rate there is also little incentive for new borrowers to hurry into the market.”


Ship shape

One of the people with whom I work closely in an investment firm with which I have an association monitors a number of esoteric indicators that he believes give a good steer on economic activity. Included among these are the price of scrap metal and tanker demolition rates. These give, he feels, the best early signals of what is really going on in the global economy. After a prolonged weak period, they are both starting to tick up – volume of ships seeking demolition exceeds yard capacity to break them. That feels like a bottom.


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