UK annual house price growth

Property market is 'sterile at best'



UK annual house price growth remained steady at 2% in September, according to recent figures.

The latest Nationwide house price index revealed that annual house price growth was unchanged from the 2% growth reported in August.

The average house price in September was £214,922, a slight increase on the £214,745 recorded a month earlier.

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide Building Society, said: “…Annual house price growth has been confined to a fairly narrow range of [around] 2-3% over the past 12 months, suggesting little change in the balance between demand and supply in the market.

“Looking further ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates.

“Subdued economic activity and ongoing pressure on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year, though borrowing costs are likely to remain low.

“Overall, we continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018.”

Property market is ‘sterile at best’

Jonathan Samuels, CEO at Octane Capital, said: “September may have seen prices nudge up, but the property market is sterile at best.

“The little annual house price growth there is, is being driven as much by the lack of supply as it is demand.

“A strong jobs market and continued low borrowing rates are keeping transactions ticking over, despite pressure on household finances, interest rate uncertainty and the ever-present threat that is Brexit.

“Few would bet against the market staying in the same supply-demand rut for the rest of the year and well into 2019.

“A chaotic Brexit has the potential to hit confidence and the property market for six.”

James Newbery, investment manager at British Pearl, said that what was striking was that we were still a divided nation.

“Growth since the financial crisis has been incredibly uneven with many regions still struggling to get back to where they began, whereas London has powered ahead.

“That means there are still opportunities out there, but they must be chosen carefully.

“A market that balloons then falls back hard is something all buyers fear, but the capital may well have dodged this eventuality against the odds.”

Sam Mitchell, CEO at Housesimple.com, added: “While the overall picture suggests a flat market, actually the regional picture is far more interesting.

"It's very much a market that has been turned on its head with strong growth in the North West and Yorkshire, and falling prices in London and the South.

"There's been too much focus on the London slowdown recently and very little comment on the strong performance of cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool

"This negativity towards London could weigh heavily on the shoulders of the entire UK property market; we shouldn't talk the market down.”


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