Nationwide reports a steady rise for UK house prices

The latest data from Nationwide has shown that during February, the average price of a home in the UK increased slightly to £205,846 - representing a rise of 0.6%.

The report also revealed that annual house price growth edged up to 4.5% and that more households in England own outright than with a mortgage.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, had this to say: “The annual rate of house price growth was little changed in February at 4.5%, only slightly higher than the 4.3% recorded in January. House prices increased by 0.6% over the month, after taking account of seasonal factors.

Recent data suggests that the UK economy has continued to perform relatively strongly. The economy accelerated slightly in Q4, expanding by a healthy 0.7% quarter-on-quarter, and the unemployment rate remained stable at an 11-year low of 4.8%.

Birchington house stock

The outlook is uncertain, but we, along with most other forecasters, expect the UK economy to slow through 2017 as heightened uncertainty weighs on business investment and hiring. Consumer spending, a key engine of growth in recent quarters, is also likely to be impacted by rising inflation in the months ahead as a result of the weaker pound.

Nevertheless, in our view a small rise in house prices of around 2% is more likely than a decline over the course of 2017, since low borrowing costs and the dearth of homes on the market will continue to support prices.”

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