CAMPAIGNS: Media Relations - Nationwide: house prices still booming

Client: Nationwide Building Society

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Nationwide Monthly House Price Report

Timescale: Continuous

Budget: No external costs

The Nationwide Building Society has been producing UK house price

reports since the 1950s and running monthly reviews since 1993. On 1

August, the report generated wide-spread media excitement by revealing

that house sales were set to rise in the coming months.


To sustain the profile of the Nationwide, by providing insight and

comment on one of its core markets.

Strategy and Plan

The Nationwide Monthly House Price Report is fundamentally a business

tool, used to guide the Society's own strategy, provide guidance for

intermediaries - such as estate agents - while informing the general

public. However, the report is also a means of providing competitive

advantage over other financial institutions, most notably the Halifax,

which publishes its own property price reviews.

Having forecast annual house price growth of seven per cent at the

beginning of 2001, the Nationwide was keen to flag up that sale prices

were rising faster than predicted, making a revised forecast

increasingly likely.

Using group economist Alex Bannister as spokesperson, the Society

explained that continued price growth in the South East was set to rise

sharply, against all expectations, with an inevitable slowdown later in

the year.

Measurement and Evaluation

So far, coverage has included the Evening Standard, the Guardian and the

Times. Evaluation is ongoing.


National broadcast, online and print media all jumped on the story,

highlighting consumer confidence in the housing market while warning of

unsustainable growth.

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