House prices steady in November - Nationwide

LONDON Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:43pm GMT

A sold sign hangs from a for sale board on a housing development in Manchester, northern England June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Phil Noble

A sold sign hangs from a for sale board on a housing development in Manchester, northern England June 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble

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LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices stagnated again in November, as low wage growth stopped price gains while rock-bottom interest rates helped to prevent forced sales, data from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Thursday.

Nationwide said that house prices were unchanged on the month and 1.2 percent lower than a year ago - in both cases a slightly weaker performance than the previous month and softer than economists had expected.

"The predominant theme remains one of stability," said Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner.

"The resilience of employment together with the ultra-low level of interest rates has been instrumental in preventing a glut of unsold homes from building up on the market and exerting sustained downward pressure on house prices," he added.

Nationwide said the average UK house price was 163,853 pounds ($261,900) in November, 12 percent below the peak of 186,044 pounds reached in October 2007.

($1 = 0.6257 British pounds)

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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