House prices drop
However, the figures show that house prices have increased by 9.2% over the past year, bringing the average price for property to £161,320. The figures may be explained by the snowy weather and the expiry of the stamp duty holiday, according to the society, and it is too early to say whether February’s drop is the start of a new trend.
Commenting on the figures Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The price of a typical UK property fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0% month-on-month in February, ending a strong run of nine consecutive monthly increases. The relatively smoother three month on three month rate of inflation remained positive at +1.6%, though this is down from +2.0% in January and a peak of +3.7% in September 2009. The annual rate of price inflation still managed to increase from 8.6% to 9.2% year-on-year, as this month’s fall was smaller than the 1.5% m/m decline recorded in February 2009. The average price of a typical property sold in the UK during February was £161,320.”