House prices rose 0.4 per cent in December following declines in the previous two months, Nationwide figures show.
Nationwide says the increase, based on a seasonally adjusted price index, means property values have remained “essentially unchanged” over the year. The average house price now stands at £162,763.
Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer (pictured) says: “For 2010 as a whole, house prices posted an unremarkable gain of 0.4 per cent, as most of the price increases from the first half of the year were reversed during the second half. The essentially flat outcome for the full year is in line with expectations.”
Gahbauer predicts a “relatively stable” market in 2011, with the possibility of a small price decline. He adds: “However, the experience from 2009 – when house prices were widely expected to see as large fall and then ended up rising by 6 per cent – illustrates the uncertainty of the outlook and shows that anything is possible.”