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UK House Prices Grow at Fastest Rate in Seven Months

Average house prices in the UK grew at their fastest rate for seven months in November but was below 1% for the twelfth month in a row, according to Nationwide.

The latest housing index from the Nationwide has revealed that average house prices grew by 0.8% in the year to November, the strongest annual increase since April. On a monthly basis, house prices grew by 0.5% in November compared to October. The average price of a home in the UK now stands at £215,734.

“Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty,” said Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide. “To date, the slowdown has largely centred on business investment, while household spending has been more resilient.

“On the whole, prevailing trends have been maintained just before, during and after UK general elections. Broader economic trends appear to dominate any immediate election-related impacts. It appears that housing market trends have not traditionally been impacted around the time of general elections. Rightly or wrongly, for most home buyers, elections are not foremost in their minds while buying or selling their home.”

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said: “House prices can be volatile on a month-to-month basis and we would not read too much into November’s pick-up in prices reported by the Nationwide. With the economy largely struggling, Brexit uncertainties extended and the UK facing a General Election on 12 December, it seems unlikely that the housing market will see any significant pick-up in the near term at least. Consequently, annual house price increases are likely to remain limited to around one per cent in the near term.”

David Westgate, chief executive of Andrews Property Group, said: “A lot of people are fed up with the noise of politics and are getting on with their lives. Exceptionally low mortgage rates and more affordable prices are making that decision a bit easier. Some sellers are still proving stubborn on price but overall there is a bit more realism than there was earlier in the year.”

Source: Money Expert

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The UK cities where property prices are rising fastest

Leicester has the fastest-rising property prices in the UK of any major city over the past year, according to new figures.

The average property in the cathedral city in the East Midlands has increased 4.8% in value over the past year to £182,900, according to Zoopla.

The growth compares to an average of 1.9% across the country, the data from Zoopla and Hometrack’s UK cities house price index suggests.

Liverpool in north-west England had the second-fastest rising prices, up 4.6% to a still lower-than-average £124,700.

Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh also recorded growth of at least 4%, while Birmingham, Belfast, Leeds, Glasgow and Nottingham prices were up more than 3% in the year to August.

Meanwhile several more expensive cities have seen prices decline or stagnate amid a sluggish market, Brexit uncertainty and tax reforms in recent years.

Oil capital Aberdeen in north-east Scotland saw the biggest drop, with prices down 4% and still below their 2007 peak. University city Oxford was the only other city that saw prices decline, down 0.4% but still high at an average of £409,100.

Portsmouth, London, Cambridge and Southampton also saw growth of less 1%.

A report by Zoopla and Hometrack published on Wednesday noted that values had stagnated in southern cities for much of the past four years, but were still 56% higher than their 2007 peak.

It said its experts expected current trends to continue in the near-term.

“There is no sign of any sudden weakening in market conditions as the Brexit debate returns to centre stage. Market trends are being dictated by the fundamentals of local economies and the affordability of housing across cities,” it noted.

The report added: “The acceleration in house price inflation since 2013, reaching almost 20% in London in 2014, and the subsequent slowdown since 2016 are part of the unfolding house price cycle.

“Price growth has slowed to more sustainable levels as the market adapts to a changing profile of demand, resulting from tax and policy changes and increased mortgage regulation.”

By Tom Belger

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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UK house prices: Growth slows in October

Annual UK house price growth slowed last month due to ongoing political and economic uncertainty.

House prices were up just 0.9 per cent in October – the lowest growth seen so far this year – as the new uncertainty of a general election and the impending Brexit deadline hit consumer confidence.

Analysts said activity in the housing market picked up over the summer, after the date for the UK to leave the European Union was pushed back to 31 October, but growth has since slowed as potential buyers hold off making purchases.

On a monthly basis, house prices fell by 0.1 per cent, while house prices grew 0.2 per cent between August and October compared to the previous quarter.

The average house price in the UK last month was £232,249, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “A number of underlying factors such as mortgage affordability and wage growth continue to support prices, however there is evidence of consumers erring on the side of caution.

“We remain unchanged from our view that activity levels and price growth will remain subdued while the UK navigates political and economic uncertainty.”

Mike Scott, chief property analyst and estate agent Yopa, added: “We expect a resumption of more normal levels of housing market activity once the Brexit outcome is more settled, which may then give a short-term boost to house prices, since the stock of houses for sale is quite low, and demand can react more quickly than supply once the uncertainty is lifted.

“However, affordability continues to be stretched, especially in the south and east of the country, and we do not expect any sustained above-inflation increase in house prices. But neither do we expect a house price crash, with a no-deal Brexit now looking unlikely and the economic fundamentals remaining strong.”

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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Annual house price inflation stutters at under 1% for 11th month in a row

Annual house growth is just 0.4%, Nationwide has reported.

It puts the average house price at £215,368, only marginally ahead of September’s figure of £215,352.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said that annual house price inflation has been at under 1% for the 11th month in a row.

On average, house prices have risen by around £800 in the last 12 months, which he said was a “significant” slowing compared with the previous year.

In the same period to October 2016, prices increased by £9,100.

By ROSALIND RENSHAW

Source: Property Industry Eye

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UK house prices: Growth ‘subdued’ in wake of Brexit slowdown

House price growth remained below one per cent for the 11th consecutive month in October, as hopeful homeowners sat tight amid Brexit uncertainty.

House prices in the 12 months to October rose 0.4 per cent to £215,368, according to the new figures from Nationwide.

On a monthly basis, house prices climbed 0.2 per cent.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensifying of Brexit uncertainty.

Gardner added: “To date, the slowdown has centred on business investment, while household spending has been more resilient.”

According to Nationwide, solid labour market conditions and low borrowing costs
seem to be offsetting the drag from the uncertain economic outlook.

“The question is whether this pattern will continue,” said Gardner.

No immediate recovery in sight

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said that there was “no immediate recovery in sight”.

A slowdown in hiring by companies, which has been primarily driven by uncertainty over Britain’s imminent departure from the EU, will “also likely ensure that demand remains week”, Tombs forecasted.

The latest modest rises underline concerns over a slowdown in activity in the UK’s housing market, particularly in London and the South, despite a recent improvement in earnings and employment.

“It’s hard to see the market emerging from this sub-one per cent annual growth rut until there is clarity on Brexit,” said David Westgate, chief executive of Andrews Property group.

“The sheer level of political uncertainty has left the property market in a protracted limbo.”

Data released by Rightmove earlier this month found that the price of property coming to market has endured its weakest month-on-month rise at this time of year in over a decade.

Prospective home buyers have been undeterred by the approaching Brexit deadline, while sellers have been put off by ongoing uncertainty over UK house prices, according to to the real estate platform.

North London estate agent and former Rics residential chairman Jeremy Leaf said that the data confirms “that we are not seeing or expecting to see any fireworks in the market over the next few months or at least until the smoke from the political situation begins to clear.”

Guy Harrington, chief executive of property lender Glenhawk, said that the recent news of a potential general election has added to market jitters, creating “a near perform storm of unsupportive conditions for growth”.

By Sebastian McCarthy

Source: City AM

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Rents grow as housing market slows

The average rent in the UK is now £967, up by 2.5% on the same time last year.

When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £797, this is up by 2.2% on last year.

Average rents in London are now £1,694, up by 3.3% on last year.

Nationwide’s House Price Index reported that house prices rose by just 0.2% in September, down from 0.6% in August and marking the 10th month in a row that the annual house price growth was recorded as under 1%.

All 12 of the regions monitored by HomeLet showed an increase in rental values between September 2018 and September 2019.

Five of the regions monitored by HomeLet showed an annual increase of over 3%, the North West, the East Midlands, the South West, Greater London and the North East.

The region with the largest year-on-year increase is the North West, showing a 4.4% increase between September 2018 and September 2019

As the UK’s largest tenant referencing firm, HomeLet references over 500,000 tenants every year. The HomeLet Rental Index provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on rental values in the UK.

The trends reported within the HomeLet Rental Index are brand new tenancies, which were arranged in the most recent period, providing an in-depth insight into the lettings market.

RegionSep-19Sep-18Annual VariationAug-19Monthly Variation
North West£739£7084.40%£741-0.30%
East Midlands£653£6293.80%£655-0.30%
South West£846£8183.40%£852-0.70%
Greater London£1,694£1,6403.30%£1,6890.30%
North East£535£5193.10%£5310.80%
West Midlands£718£7012.40%£720-0.30%
Yorkshire & Humberside£657£6442.00%£6550.30%
Wales£634£6212.10%£636-0.30%
Scotland£676£6632.00%£6710.70%
East of England£927£9151.30%£930-0.30%
Northern Ireland£673£6641.40%£6641.40%
South East£1,045£1,0430.20%£1,064-1.80%
UK£967£9432.50%£970-0.30%
UK excluding Greater London£797£7802.20%£802-0.60%

Source: Property118

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UK house prices grow at slowest rate for six years

UK house prices grew at their slowest annual rate in six years in September, a closely-watched gauge has revealed, as Brexit uncertainty continues to smother activity in the sector.

House prices grew by just 1.1 per cent over the last year, undershooting economists’ expectations of a rise of 1.6 per cent, Halifax’s house price index showed today. Prices rose at an annual rate of 1.8 per cent in August.

Month on month, UK house prices fell by 0.4 per cent in September, down from 0.2 per cent growth in August. The monthly figure also dropped below economists’ expectations of a 0.1 per cent rise.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said that although the 1.1 per cent annual growth is the lowest since April 2013, it “remains in keeping with the predominantly flat trend we’ve seen in recent months”.

“Underlying market indicators, including completed sales and mortgages approvals, continue to be broadly stable. Meanwhile for buyers, important affordability measures – such as wage growth and interest rates – still look favourable.”

“Looking ahead, we expect activity levels and price growth to remain subdued while the current period of economic uncertainty persists.”

Housing is just one market that has been subdued by political uncertainty in Britain. Potential buyers and sellers are putting off their decisions until there is more clarity over Brexit.

Halifax said today that recent surveys show a flatter trend in demand and lower mortgage approvals in recent months.

The UK housing market has also been hit by a global economic slowdown that has weighed on asset prices. First-time buyers will be cheered by the news that houses are not rocketing in price, however.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of UK-wide mortgage broker Coreco, said: “As we approach Halloween and the Brexit endgame it’s no surprise price growth is slowing, but the horror show many predicted hasn’t played out.”

“Extremely low borrowing costs continue to make property affordable while the strength of the jobs market is giving people confidence amid the chaos.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said low levels of activity was forcing mortgage lenders to “work incredibly hard to generate business and stand out from the competition”.

“This is excellent news for borrowers and once buyers return to the market, when the uncertainty is removed from the equation, there are some extremely competitive products for them to take advantage of.”

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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House price growth turns negative over the month – but just remains positive year-to-year

House price growth –just – crept into reverse last month. However, annual house price inflation – just – remained in positive territory.

According to Nationwide the average house price was £216,352, down just 0.2% from an average of £216,096 in August.

Annual house price inflation was up by the same amount, 0.2%.

September was the tenth month in a row where Nationwide has recorded annual house price growth of under 1%.

London was the weakest performing region in the third quarter of this year, Nationwide also reported, with prices down 1.7% compared with the same period a year ago.

The lender said that UK house prices are now “only” around 17% higher than their 2007 peak.

Mike Scott, of Yopa, said: “It now seems likely that year-on-year house price growth will dip into negative territory in the last quarter of this year as the Brxit uncertainty continues to subdue market activity.”

Separately, the latest Bank of England lending figures show that in August there were 65,000 mortgage approvals for house purchase, down from the 18-month high of 67,000 in July.

By ROSALIND RENSHAW

Source: Property Industry Eye

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House Price Growth at a Standstill

Annual house price growth in fell to 0.2% in September, the tenth month in a row that growth has been below 1%.

The latest house price index from Nationwide revealed that month-on-month, house prices fell in September by 0.2%. Compared to September 2018, average house prices have grown by just 0.2%, down from the 0.6% annual growth seen in August. This is the lowest yearly growth recorded for eight months, and only slightly higher than the six-year low of 0.1% seen in January. The average price of a home in the UK now stands at £215,352, down from £216,096 in August.

“Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty,” said Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide. “However, the slowdown has centred on business investment – household spending has been more resilient, supported by steady gains in employment and real earnings.

“The underlying pace of housing market activity has remained broadly stable, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase continuing within the fairly narrow range prevailing over the past two years. Healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs appear to be offsetting the drag from the uncertain economic outlook.”

Regionally, the biggest fall in prices last month was seen in London and the South East, where average prices dropped annually by 1.7%. In other parts of the country, house prices are still rising but slowly. The most significant gains were seen in Northern Ireland, where house prices grew 3.4% year-on-year in September.

“With the economy largely struggling and the outlook highly uncertain, we suspect that house prices will remain soft in the near term at least,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club.

“Should the UK leave the EU with a deal at the end of October – or early in 2020 – we believe reduced uncertainty and gradually improving economic activity as the year progresses could see house prices rise by around 2% over 2020.

“Housing market activity – and possible to a lesser extent prices – could be given a lift in 2020 if the government cuts stamp duty significantly in the budget later this year.”

Jeremy Leaf, former residential chairman of RICS, said: “What these figures tell us is that there hasn’t been much change in the market. On the ground, we have seen more serious buyers and sellers determined to find some middle ground and particularly for longer-term purchases such as larger flats and family houses where short-term uncertainties seem to be less relevant.”

Source: Money Expert

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UK housing market stuck in slow gear as Brexit weighs – Nationwide

British house price growth remained weak in June as uncertainty about Brexit hung over the market, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Tuesday.

House prices increased by 0.5% compared with a year ago, slowing slightly after a 0.6% rise in May but in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

At the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016, house prices were growing by about 5 percent a year, according to Nationwide’s measure.

In monthly terms, house prices in June edged up by 0.1%, a slightly smaller increase than the median forecast in the Reuters poll for a rise of 0.2%.

Nationwide’s data chimed with other housing indicators which have suggested that a weakening of the market seen in 2018 might have bottomed out as investors wait for Britain to resolve its Brexit crisis.

“While healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, uncertainty is likely to continue to act as a drag on sentiment and activity,” Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said.

Price growth and transaction levels were likely to be little changed over the coming months, he said.

Britain is waiting for the ruling Conservative Party to choose its new leader who, as next prime minister, will attempt to strike a new Brexit deal with the European Union before an Oct. 31 deadline for the country’s departure from the bloc.

Nationwide’s data showed that prices in London fell for an eighth quarter in a row in the April-June period although the pace of decline moderated to 0.7% in annual terms from 3.8% in the previous quarter.

Prices in the capital were around 5% below the all-time highs seen in early 2017 and were about 50% above their levels in 2007, before the global financial crisis, Nationwide said.

Prices in Britain as a whole were only around 17% higher over the same period.

House prices in the second quarter rose most strongly in Northern Ireland and Wales, up by an annual 5.2 and 4.2% respectively.

Source: Yahoo News