Property Price Rises Slow Further

Property prices rises in the UK have slowed to the slowest pace since May 2013 according to the latest house price index from Nationwide.

Over the last year to October average property price rises across Britain were at 1.6 per cent, down from the 2 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in September.

Nationwide were of the opinion that the uncertain economic climate – largely due to Brexit – coupled with a squeeze on household budgets have contributed to the low property price rises seen.

In fact, the average property price dipped from £214,922 in September to £214,534 in October, though Nationwide referred to the market as flat.

The building society said it still expected property values to rise this year, but only by a minimal one per cent.

Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, said: ‘October saw a slowdown in annual house price growth to 1.6 per cent from 2 per cent in September.

‘As a result, annual house price growth moved below the narrow range of (around) 2 per cent to 3 per cent prevailing over the previous 12 months.

‘However, this was broadly in line with our expectations, as the squeeze on household budgets and the uncertain economic outlook is likely to have dampened demand, even though borrowing costs remain low by historic standards and unemployment is at 40-year lows.’

Mr Gardner continued: ‘We continue to expect house prices to rise by around one per cent over the course of 2018. Looking further ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve. If the uncertainty lifts in the months ahead, there is scope for activity to pick up throughout next year.’

Low property price rises have seen many purchasers dealing in cash rather than mortgages, and there has also been a ‘significant reduction’ in the number of buy to let purchases involving a mortgage in recent years according to the lender.

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