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Nationwide survey points to difficult housing market

Despite the fact that house prices remained fairly flat in September, showing a 0.1% rise according to the Nationwide House Price Index, the three-month rate of change has turned downwards for the first time since November 2009. House prices fell by 0.9% in the three months to the end of September compared to the three-month period ended August. This longer term trend would appear to show that house prices are starting to struggle due to a mixture of lack of demand, an excess of houses for sale and tighten liquidity in the mortgage markets.

One of the main problems now is the fact that as property prices start to fall we could see an influx of sellers while buyers may well decide to sit on the sidelines. When you also take into account the tightening credit market in the UK then perhaps we have something of a nightmare scenario in the short to medium term. However, many still believe that property in the UK has significant potential of a long-term basis and we will at some point begin to see investors wake up to the potential for the future. However, when this may be remains to be seen and with a difficult economic backdrop it is unlikely that hordes of investors will rush to the UK property market.

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