house prices

04 Jun 2019

UK house prices fall in May

House prices in Britain in May fell by 0.2% from April to its lowest growth rate in three months, as the result of a subdued market, a report by Nationwide shows.

Compared to the previous year, house prices had risen by 0.6% but was still slower than the 0.9% rise in April.

A report compiled by mortgage lender Nationwide showed that the annual house price growth had been below 1% for six continuous months. Indicating the housing market may be past the worst of its pre-Brexit slowdown.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said:

“Survey data suggests that new buyer inquiries and consumer confidence have remained subdued in recent months.

“Nevertheless, indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable.

“Housing market trends are likely to continue to mirror developments in the broader economy.”

Nationwide’s report also portrayed that there were 359,000 first-time buyers in the twelve months to March, showing signs of recovery in that market.

Samuel Tombs, an economist from Pantheon Macroeconomics, commented:

“Nationwide’s data confirm that house prices remain on an essentially flat trend, primarily because Brexit uncertainty has instilled some caution among buyers.

“The trend likely won’t improve in the next couple of months, given the political deadlock in Westminster.”

Figures published by the Bank of England on Friday also showed mortgage approvals reaching a three-month high of 66,261 in April after figures reported in March had slipped to a fifteen-month low.

By Lyba Nasir