Nationwide sees house price growth pick-up

Nationwide sees house price growth pick-up

The annual rate of house price growth increased slightly in June, according to Nationwide.

The nation’s biggest building society stated the annual rate of house price growth increased by 5.1 per cent, up from 4.7 per cent in May.

Prices increased 0.2 per cent between June and May, with the average property price set at £204,968.

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Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said it is difficult to assess how much of the likely fall back in transactions in the quarters ahead is because buyers brought forward purchases to avoid additional stamp duty liabilities.

Mr Gardner said it was also difficult to quantify how much of the house price growth was due to increased economic uncertainty following the referendum result.

He said: “Ultimately conditions in the housing market will be determined by conditions in the wider economy, especially the labour market. It is too early to assess the impact of the referendum vote on the economy.

“The lack of homes on the market - with estate agents continuing to report a record low number of properties on their books - will also provide underlying support for prices even if demand softens.”

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of the buying agents Garrington Property Finders, said: “Nationwide’s June data gives a snapshot of the housing market immediately before the Brexit referendum.

“It shows a functioning market with decent price growth but limited supply – a languid calm before the storm.

“Unfortunately this data is about as much use in predicting the future course of the property market as sun-dappled photos of the summer of 1914. It’s a historical record of a lost age before Europe changed forever.

“The referendum result has since plunged the property market into a ‘hard reset’, especially in the higher price brackets.

“While we can’t be sure how much things will slow, it’s inevitable that more nervous investors will sit on their hands while the opportunists circle.”