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Nationwide warns of property market complacency

Despite the fact that the Nationwide property survey shows that house prices in the UK have risen for the eighth consecutive month, the building society is still concerned about the immediate outlook for the market. House prices rose by 0.4% in December, which contributed to a rise of 6% over the last 12 months, with the average house price in the UK now valued at just over £162,000. While the market has rebounded far quicker and far stronger than many had forecast in early 2008 there are still concerns for 2010.

When you consider that house prices are still more than 12% below the peak of 2007, although nearly 9% above the low point of February 2009, there really are different angles and different opinions open to observers. Whether you take the opinion that UK house prices have risen too quickly or perhaps pent-up demand is now kicking in, there are a number of factors and features to consider for 2010.

Ultimately, the UK economy is still struggling, unemployment has not yet peaked and disposable income is under pressure and will impact upon economic growth in the retail and consumer markets. Against this backdrop UK banks have yet to improve their liquidity ratios for the business and consumer markets and finance is still not readily available for many.

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