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Figures reveal flat housing market

House prices were flat in June as low mortgage applications and sluggish new buyer inquiries kept the market subdued, lender Nationwide said today.

Average prices were unchanged at £168,205, after a 0.3 per cent rise the previous month, which cut the year-on-year decline to 1.1 per cent from 1.2 per cent in May.

The three-month-on-three-month measure of house prices, which economists regard as a better measure of the underlying trend, saw an increase of 0.3 per cent helped by a buoyant London market, though elsewhere the market was much quieter.

Nationwide said house prices are now lower than last year everywhere except London, even though a number of regions saw an increase over the past three months.

The mortgage lender also expects little change to the current static market over the remainder of the year as a low supply of new houses coming onto the market offsets weak buyer demand.

Robert Gardner, the Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “It’s hard to make a case for prices rising or falling sharply over the remainder of 2011 if the economy develops as we expect.

“Economic growth is set to gather pace in the months ahead but is likely to remain unspectacular,” he said, while a “combination of low transaction volumes, still tight housing supply and flattish house prices looks set to stay for the remainder of the year”.

By region, London saw an increase of 2.9 per cent over the last year with Northern Ireland and Scotland the worst performers with falls of 4.1 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.

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