The housing market

UK house price growth cools to weakest level since May 2013

By Patricia Nilsson

The annual rate of UK house growth in October slowed to its lowest rate since May 2013, according to new data that highlight the slowdown in Britain’s property market sparked by economic uncertainty and tighter consumer budgets.

Prices grew 1.6 per cent year-on-year, Nationwide said, down from an annual rate of 2 per cent in September. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a significantly slimmer fall to 1.9 per cent. Month-on-month, prices remained flat, after a cautious growth of 0.2 per cent in the previous month.

While overall housing market activity was still subdued, the lender said recent years had seen a recovery in the number of first time buyers, helped by credit availability such as the Help to Buy scheme and low interest rates.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said:

divider 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. We continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1 per cent over the course of 2018.

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