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Nationwide reports that property prices in the United Kingdom (UK) slipped 0.2% in March to an average of 164,134, and experts say it’s largely due to the expiration of the stamp duty holiday that provided a much-needed boost to buyers. Nationwide’s economists believe prices will remain neutral throughout 2012, although the UK’s NewBuy scheme is expected to help make it easier for some in the market. The larger economic outlook, however, remains dismal throughout the Eurozone and is expected to continue causing market sluggishness. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Residential property prices in the UK fell 0.2% in April and are unlikely to change much during the rest of 2012 due to weak economic conditions, according to the latest housing report from the Nationwide out today (Thursday 03 May).

The price of a typical home is now £164,134 and prices remain 0.9% lower than a year ago, the Nationwide data also shows. It is the fourth time in five months that prices have declined.

‘Much of the recent softness in measures of housing market activity and house prices is likely to relate to the expiry of the stamp duty holiday in late March. This provided a temporary boost to house prices in early 2012 as buyers brought forward purchases that would otherwise have taken place later in the year,’ said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

‘This effect should fade in the months ahead, and measures such as the government’s NewBuy scheme should provide some support to buyer demand,’ he added.

But he does not expect growth this year due to the current challenging economic backdrop. ‘A significant acceleration in prices or activity is unlikely in the near term. Housing market activity is likely to remain subdued, with prices showing little growth or moving modestly lower over the next twelve months,’ he explained.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.