The tide of good news being pushed homeowners’ way in 2011 was boosted this week, as Nationwide revealed that house prices edged ahead by 0.3% in February
The increase, which was only the second gain recorded since May last year, left the average home costing £161,183. Yet according to experts, the UK property market is merely "treading water".
Nationwide saw little reason to be optimistic, saying it expected the housing market to be "sluggish" during 2011, as annual house price inflation remained in negative territory, with prices 0.1% lower than in February last year.
With the economic recovery set to remain fairly modest, any improvement in employment and wages was likely to be slow going, leading to a subdued housing market during 2011, added Nationwide.
"This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Housing market trends are closely linked to wider economic prospects,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist.
"Given that the recovery hit a soft patch at the turn of the year and looks set to remain sluggish in the year ahead, the property market is likely to follow suit, with relatively low transaction levels and prices moving sideways or modestly lower through 2011."
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