The latest data and analysis from Nationwide has revealed that the UK housing market saw a small uptick in house prices during September, rising 0.3% after being seasonally adjusted.
According to the figures, house price growth has settled at 2%, partially recovering form the previous months crash. However, it wasn’t good news for the whole of the country as The North was revealed to be the weakest performing area during Q3 with prices down 1.7% year on year
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, had this to say: “Annual house price growth was stable in September at 2%.
Indeed, annual house price growth has been confined to a fairly narrow range of c2-3% 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.”
England saw a 0.6% quarter-on-quarter rise in Q3, with average prices up 1.4% compared with a year ago.
Meanwhile, in Southern England both London and the Outer Metropolitan regions saw prices decline year on year, leading to overall price growth in the South slowing to just 0.3%. However, looking at price levels, there is a still a significant gap, with average prices in the Southern England around twice those in Northern England.
It is a mixed bag, however, because activity and prices in London remain challenging whereas in many places outside it is quite a different picture. This is mainly due to historic affordability reasons, particularly when this well-respected index confirms London prices are still more than 50 per cent above their 2007 peak.
It seems unlikely that the proposed additional stamp duty on foreign buyers will help to bring down prices or make more homes available for local people considering a large proportion support new development in London, many of which contain the affordable housing we lack.
Mortgage rates continue to be competitive. Lenders continue to cut the cost of their best mortgage deals, despite August’s interest rate rise, as they compete for business in the run-up to the end of the year. Barclays, HSBC, Halifax and TSB are among the big names to have reduced the cost of fixed-rate mortgages recently, and we expect this trend to continue, which is good news for borrowers.”