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Was last months 1.2% house price rise correct?

When leading estate agent Rightmove announced that property prices in the UK rose by 1.2% in January, a number of eyebrows were raised. While there is no doubt that the figures themselves are correct, and there was an average rise of 1.2% across the UK in January, there are a number of factors which need to be taken into account.

The so-called rise also occurred at the same time as transaction numbers collapsed with 45% fewer homes sold compared to 12 months ago. It is Rightmove's belief that a reduction in the number of homes for sale had allowed some estate agents to push up prices due to the lack of competition and properties available. However, it is not yet clear how many homes were sold during the month of January and the average selling price.

Investors in the property market are desperate to find any sign of life and it will be interesting to see if there is any follow-through in February or will we see a continuation of the downward trend which has been in place for some time. In all honesty it looks as though a substantial recovery in the property market is still some way off with credit levels nowhere near those seen only 12 months ago and more and more people concerned about their future employment.

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