A Nationwide surprise

The tone of housing market data has been improving but nobody expected house prices to start rising yet, so the Nationwide building society’s report of a 0.9% increase in March was a surprise and should be treated with a certain amount of caution. The annual rate of decline fell from 17.6% to 15.7%.

To be fair to the Nationwide, it did not hail the figures as signalling a turn in prices. It said: “While the rise in prices in March is welcome, it is far too soon to see this as evidence that the trough of the market has been reached. The Bank of England has already taken strong measures to ease the tensions in economic and financial markets by cutting rates and commencing quantitative easing. However it will take time for these to work through into the housing market before we can expect a sustained recovery in house prices.” The release is here.

Originally published at About David Smith’s EconomicsUK.com and reproduced here with the author’s permission.