House price growth stable: Nationwide

House price growth stable: Nationwide

Nationwide has reported that house prices increased marginally in January, up just 0.3 per cent this month while annual house price growth was broadly stable at 4.4 per cent.

The lender’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, said the pace of UK house price growth remained broadly stable during January, while annual house price growth remained in a fairly narrow range between 3 per cent and 5 per cent since last summer.

Headlines January 2016 December 2015
Monthly Index* 396.9395.6
Monthly Change* 0.3%0.8%
Annual Change 4.4%4.5%
Average Price (not seasonally adjusted) £196,829£196,999

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* Seasonally adjusted figure (monthly percentage changes are revised when seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated).

Mr Gardner added that he remained concerned that construction activity would lag behind strengthening demand, putting upward pressure on house prices and eventually reducing affordability.

Nationwide’s statistics came as the BBA reported the number of mortgage approvals in December was 24 per cent higher than a year ago, with remortgaging up 31 per cent and house purchase up 19 per cent.

Despite slackening a little towards the end of 2015, the BBA reported that all months last year exceeded their corresponding months in 2014.

Adrian Anderson, director of London-based mortgage broker Anderson Harris, pointed out that mortgage approvals were improving, but far from racing away, growth was now more moderate and therefore more sustainable than it was in the past.

He said: “While December finished with a strong performance on the lending front, January has also got off to an unseasonally good start, as those investors and second homebuyers keen to beat the stamp duty hike from April have only really got until the end of February to secure a mortgage.”