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House prices nationwide manage to go up…..and down!

House prices slipped 2.4% in April, the Halifax reported this morning, more than wiping out March’s rise of 2.2%. The average house price now stands at a seasonally adjusted £159,883, says Halifax – lower than Nationwide now makes it.

However, Nationwide seems undecided as to whether house prices are going down or up.

Indeed, thanks to Nationwide, it seems possible that they are doing both, courtesy of our old friend ‘seasonal adjustment’.

In March the average house price was £163,327. In April house prices then went down – or up, depending on which way you look at it – to £164,134, according to Nationwide.

We suspect that most of the fearless property media commentators went straight to Nationwide’s own prophet of doom, otherwise known as its chief economic adviser, Robert Gardner.

He certainly seemed to think prices had gone down, saying: “The price of a typical UK home fell by 0.2% in April, following a 1% decline in March.”

Ah yes, that 1% decline – the one where house prices went down (as Nationwide seems to prefer that word to ‘up’) from £162,712 in February to £163,327.

We think there is only one thing to do with seasonal adjustment.

Take it outside and shoot it.

Source: EAToday Friday 4 May 2012