U.K. House Prices Unexpectedly Rise in June

On Tuesday the Nationwide Building Society said that U.K. house prices edged up 0.9% in June, bringing the annual rate of decline down to 9.3%, from 11.3% in May. The average price of a U.K. house is now 156,442 pounds, compared to 154,016 pounds in May, MarketWatch reports.

The latest snapshot of the housing market from the UK's largest building society is the most bullish in more than a year, as it also shows the three-month trend in house prices has turned positive for the first time since December 2007, standing at 0.9% compared with -0.4% in May.
Reacting the situation nationwide's chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, said that if the pattern of price movements seen in the first half of the year was repeated over the second half, then prices could show a small single digit fall for 2009 as a whole, Guardian reports.

In the meantime consumer confidence also rose this month in further evidence the economy is easing out of its worst slump in a generation. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said last week that the road to recovery may be a “long, hard slog” as the lending squeeze chokes economic growth, Bloomberg reports.