Nationwide’s house price index for September indicated that house prices rose by just 0.1% in September. This put the annual rate of inflation at 3.1%, down from 3.9% in August . The three month rate of change turned negative at -0.9%, the first time since May 2009.
Nationwide suggested that this is not something of immediate concern and does not necessarily herald a significant decline in prices. It did however concede that the market favours the buyer at the moment.
This is consistent with the feeling that the level of active buyers has not kept pace with the amount of new property coming to market. Commenting on the Nationwide figures RICS pointed to the more negative figures from its own survey and other indices such as Rightmove and Hometrack. It does however feel that the gap between fresh instructions coming onto the market and buyer interest is beginning to narrow.
Other figures out today included the Bank of England credit conditions survey. This indicated that mortgage activity remains low and lenders indicated that they did not expect any significant increase in mortgage availability. Lenders even pointed to an expectation of further tightening in credit scoring, underlining that the mortgage market is likely to remain difficult for the remainder of this year.