UK house prices up 0.4% on the year in February: Hometrack

LONDON: UK house prices were 0.4% higher than a year ago in February, marking the first annual rise since March 2008, a survey showed on March 1.

House market analysts at Hometrack said prices rose a non-seasonally adjusted 0.3% on the month but warned that the market did not appear poised for another boom.

Prices were 1% lower in January than the same month in 2009.

"There are signs that higher priced supply is coming to the market but whether this stock will sell remains to be seen as the growth in sales volumes and demand over the first two months of 2010 is well down on previous years," said Richard Donnell, Hometrack's director of research.

The data coincides with the majority of other housing market surveys which have surprised economists to show a steady recovery in house prices after a 20% drop during the financial crisis and recession.

However, building society Nationwide said on Feb 26 that house prices unexpectedly dropped 1% in February, ending a run of nine consecutive monthly increases.

Bank of England policymaker Kate Barker has said the market could struggle to get going because of a continued lack of credit available to mortgage seekers. -- Reuters
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