Big lenders disagree on prices

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The monthly reports on house prices from Britain’s two biggest lenders – Nationwide and Halifax – have a huge impact on sentiment in the market.

But their recently-released February figures could cause confusion.

For while Halifax claims a monthly fall of 0.9 per cent to an average £162,657, Nationwide reckons prices went up by 0.3 per cent, to £161,183.

Both figures disagree with those of the Land Registry, which are based on real sales rather than the lenders’ mortgage offers.

And both Nationwide and Halifax agree that over the past three months the market has been virtually flat.