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Annual house price growth edges up over April: Nationwide

Annual house price growth edges up over April: Nationwide

Annual house price growth edged up in April to 5.2 per cent from 5.1 per cent in March, data from Nationwide’s monthly index has revealed.

Monthly UK house prices rose by 1 per cent in April, compared with March’s figure of 0.1 per cent.

The average house price grew to £193,048 in April, while last month’s figure stood at £189,454.

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Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said that the annual pace of house price growth increased for the first time in seven months.

“The pick-up in price growth has occurred even though the pace of activity in the housing market has remained fairly subdued in recent months. Indeed, the number of mortgage approvals is still well below its long run average and 20 per cent below the levels recorded in early 2014.”

Mr Gardner added that the strength of the economy and relatively subdued pace of activity in the housing market remains something of an anomaly.

“It is possible that heightened uncertainty ahead of the election is weighing on activity, though there is no compelling evidence from previous UK elections to suggest a strong impact. Healthy labour market conditions and continued low mortgage rates should help underpin housing demand in the quarters ahead.”

Data from mid-April this year showed a cooling housing market with new mortgage lending down over the year in almost all segments, while house price growth in the 12 months to February.

According to the Office of National Statistics, at that time, UK house prices had increased by 7.2 per cent in the year to February, down from 8.4 per cent in the year to January.

ruth.gillbe@ft.com