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UK HOUSE PRICES ROSE SLIGHTLY IN FEBRUARY

UK house prices rose slightly in February but the lift in values may not last through the summer, according to the Nationwide.

The building society said that the value of homes went up by 0.6% in February compared with January.

Prices were up by 0.9% compared with the same month a year earlier, making the average home worth £162,712.

The boost to activity could be the result of the approaching end to a stamp duty holiday, Nationwide said.

The 1% stamp duty rate for first-time buyers, on properties worth between £125,000 and £250,000, is being reintroduced on 24 March.

"Given the still challenging economic backdrop this increase in housing market activity may be the result of a temporary rise in first time buyers entering the market to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday," said Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner.

"If so, this may continue to support activity and prices in the near-term before cooling over summer."
 

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