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UK house price indicators

To find out where Britain's house prices are heading next, we've hunted down what we believe are the best leading indicators for Britain's housing market. And for now, they mostly suggest that prices are heading for further falls.

We watch five indicators, all of which have proved useful guides in the past. These include the RICS Housing Market Survey and data on both mortgage lending and mortgage approvals. Consumer confidence is another useful data point we keep an eye on.

You can read in detail what each indicator suggests for UK house prices using the tabs above.
The Rics Housing Market Survey is arguably Britain's best house-price predictor. It's a monthly measure of how many surveyors are seeing UK house prices rise compared with those reporting falls. The Rics survey leads the Halifax index by around six months.

What's the latest?
June's Rics balance rose to 40, ie, 40% more surveyors saw prices rising than falling. The September Halifax UK three-monthly house price index saw a 8.6% year-on-year rise.

The Bank of England provides monthly data on UK net mortgage lending growth (NMLG). Historically this has proved a handy guide to house prices.

What's the latest?
August saw UK NMLG remain 5.6% higher. That compares with annual growth of 1.9% two years ago, 5.7% in December 2008 and 11.1% in February 2007. Meanwhile, the August Nationwide UK house price index is 3.2% higher year-on-year.

This gauges the monthly mood swings of Britain's consumers. It "tracks changes in personal finance, the general economic situation, inflation, unemployment, the current purchasing climate, and consumer spending and saving", say its compilers GfK/NOP. This indicator leads the Halifax UK three-monthly house price index by some four months.

What's the latest?
For September, the GfK fell to 1. September's Halifax UK three-monthly house price index saw an 8.6% year-on-year rise.

The UK CPI (consumer price index) is the most widely-used indicator of our cost of living. Higher CPI normally means higher interest rates.

What's the latest?
August's UK CPI was flat year-on-year, down from anincrease of 0.1% the previous month The August Nationwide UK house price index is 3.2% higher year-on-year.

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