January 11, 2018 / 10:24 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Swedish house prices rose in Q4 - Statistics Office

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    STOCKHOLM, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Prices of Swedish homes rose
in the last quarter, the statistics office (SCB) said on
Thursday, contradicting signs of a slowdown in the market shown
in other data.
    The SCB said the average price of Swedish houses rose 1
percent in the three months to the end of December from the
previous three-month period.
    On an annual basis, prices increased by 9 percent. The data
comprises one- and two-family dwellings.
    Analysts said the SCB figures would soon go into reverse,
however, pointing to the time lag in the data and other gauges
of the housing market.
    "I think this is all about lagging data and we will see a
downturn in the SCB's figures starting next month," Torbjorn
Isaksson, chief analyst at Nordea, said.
    SCB measures prices the day when a property deed is
transferred, while other housing statistics often use the day
when the contract is signed. There could be a gap of several
months between the two dates.
    Last month, data from Valueguard showed home prices fell for
a third straight month in November.            
    Swedes have turned pessimistic about house prices with a
balance expecting declines over the next 12 months, according to
banking group SEB's Housing Price Indicator.              
    Property prices in the Nordic country have boomed over the
past two decades and Swedish households are among the most
indebted in Europe. 
    Swedish authorities as well as the European Commission and
the International Monetary Fund, have warned the high debt
levels are a serious threat to the economy.

 (Reporting by Johan Sennero; Editing by Simon Johnson and
Catherine Evans)
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