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Housing market 'stays resilient' as prices rise

By Jamie Grierson

The UK housing market has remained "surprisingly resilient" this month, Nationwide said yesterday, as the average price of a property increased by 0.4% month on month.

The price of a typical home was £165,798 in November, 1.6% higher than a year ago, Nationwide said, following a 0.8% year-on-year increase in October.

The figures come shortly after the Government revealed proposals to underwrite mortgages for first-time buyers as part of efforts to "unstick" the housing market.

But Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, warned that the slow growth forecast for the next couple of years is likely to weigh on the market.

He said: "House prices have remained surprisingly resilient in recent months, despite the deterioration in the economic outlook. But, with the UK economic recovery expected to remain sluggish well into 2012, house price growth is likely to remain soft."

Fears have been growing of a "perfect storm" in housing, with construction at its lowest since the Second World War, mortgage lending tightly restricted, and rent and purchase prices stubbornly high.

Nationwide said that, despite the rise in prices in November, demand conditions remained "extremely subdued" in the UK.

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