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UK house prices resist the unknown of Brexit…

Posted by Tim

In its most recent House Price Index, Nationwide has disclosed that UK house prices are rising up against the so-called doom-and-gloom of Brexit.  A monthly 0.6% increase for August 2016 added to annual growth edging up prices from 5.2% to 5.6% with the UK average reaching £206,145.

 Nationwide Chief Economist, Robert Gardner, suggested that prospects for the UK’s housing market were still uncertain:

 “The pick-up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that housing market activity has slowed in recent months.  “New buyer enquiries have softened as a result of the introduction of additional Stamp Duty on second homes in April and the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to an 18-month low in July.

“However, the decline in demand appears to have been matched by weakness on the supply side of the market. Surveyors report that instructions to sell have also declined and the stock of properties on the market remains close to 30-year lows. This helps to explain why the pace of house price growth has remained broadly stable.”

 Adding that the future for the housing market was not transparent, he said: “What happens next on the demand side will be determined, to a large extent, by the outlook for the labour market and confidence amongst prospective buyers.”

The latest Nationwide House Price Index headlines can be read here.