Annual house price growth continues to slow: Nationwide

Annual house price growth continues to slow: Nationwide
Average prices have fallen for the fourth month running and below £205,000 for the first time since June 2016, and annual price growth is also back to January 2016 levels.

House prices increased by 0.1% in November, causing annual house price growth to slow to 4.4% from 4.6% in October, according to the latest Nationwide house price index.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “UK house prices increased by 0.1% in November, after taking account of seasonal factors. As a result, the annual rate of house price growth slowed slightly to 4.4%, from 4.6% in October, though this is still in line with the growth rates prevailing since early 2015.

“There are some signs that, despite the uncertain economic outlook, demand conditions have strengthened a little in recent months, reflecting the impact of solid labour market conditions and historically low borrowing costs. Mortgage approvals increased in October, and surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased modestly.

“The relatively low number of homes on the market and modest rates of housing construction are likely to keep the demand/supply balance fairly tight in the quarters ahead, even if economic conditions weaken, as most forecasters expect."


Alex Gosling, CEO at HouseSimple, commented: "Average prices have fallen for the fourth month running and below £205,000 for the first time since June 2016, and annual price growth is also back to January 2016 levels.

"Apart from the monthly price rise, all trends are downwards, which suggests the housing market has caught a cold. But actually, that's not the case. The market is in surprisingly good health considering the headwinds it's had to face in the second half of the year.
 
"And when you factor in the seasonal slowdown we would normally expect this time of the year, there's nothing alarming in these figures.
 
"If anything, the market actually picked up in November. We saw a higher level of buyer activity than we would normally see at this time of year. That's possibly due to buyers holding off purchasing post Trump to see how the market would react.
 
"We are likely to see transaction levels drop off in December, which is normal, before we enter a crucial period. The market needs a strong January, particularly with the possibility of Article 50 being invoked, on the horizon."

Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman, added: "The numbers are not particularly exciting because they are showing a market which is slowing down prior to the Christmas period and although rather a little historic they reflect the struggle between those trying to take advantage of very low interest rates and softening house prices versus those showing caution in view of the economic and political uncertainty. The result is modest house price increases mainly because of the continuing shortage of supply.

"Once again we are finding that those who are prepared to recognise the new realism in the market for buying and selling are still getting on with transactions."

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