Nationwide HPI

UK property market remains 'on its knees'



Annual house price growth was 0.4% in February, up on the 0.1% recorded in January, but down on the 2.2% increase in February 2018, according to the latest Nationwide house price index.

House prices were down 0.1% month-on-month, with average prices now at £211,304 (January 2019: £211,966).

“The annual rate of growth may have risen in February, but the UK property market remains firmly on its knees,” claimed Jonathan Samuels, CEO at Octane Capital.

“To say sentiment has softened is somewhat generous. 

“Shattered is closer to the mark.

“March could be the month the property market finally succumbs to madness.”

“January’s horror show proved mercifully brief, and house price growth returned to characteristically anaemic form in February,” said Nicholas Finn, executive director at Garrington Property Finders.

“But it says much about the fragility of confidence that a shift from sliding to sluggish growth is seen as progress.

“House prices are looking increasingly disconnected from Britain’s economic fundamentals. 

“If there’s one common factor in Britain’s fractured property market, it’s that these are anxious times for sellers, and many buyers will want the reassurance of a low price in order to proceed.

“That dynamic is allowing a steady stream of strategic buyers to pounce on buying opportunities that may not be around once the market normalises.”

Mark Harris, chief executive at SPF Private Clients, added that the spring-like weather had not quite filtered through to the housing market with price growth remaining subdued. 

“Uncertainty over Brexit continues to have an impact and is likely to [do so] for the next few weeks at least.”

Mark also claimed that lenders remained keen to lend and that rates were extremely competitive. 

“Indeed, several lenders continue to trim rates in an effort to encourage more business, while innovative tweaks here and there are increasing as an alternative to offering the cheapest rate in the market.”

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, chief strategy officer at Blend Network, concluded: “The UK housing market has long been [a] tale of London versus the regions and there is little evidence in the latest data from Nationwide that this has changed.

"The most recent official figures show house price growth being strongest in Northern Ireland, where prices have increased by 5.5% year-on-year, followed by the West Midlands and Wales, where property values rose by 5.2%.

“But the value of property in London is so high [that] any fall in values has a disproportionate effect on the overall UK house price indices.”


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