Friday, June 25, 2021
UK

Nationwide says annual house price growth up 10.9% in May

Nationwide

On a month-on-month basis house prices rose 1.8% in May, down from the 2.3% rise recorded in April

Annual house price growth was up 10.9% in May, the highest level in nearly seven years, according to the latest Nationwide house price index.

On a month-on-month basis house prices rose 1.8% in May, down from the 2.3% rise recorded in April.

The figures leave the average price of a home at a new record high of £242,832.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: Housing market activity is likely to remain fairly buoyant over the next six months as a result of the stamp duty extension and additional support for the labour market included in the Budget, especially given continued low borrowing costs, improving credit availability and with many people still motivated to move as a result of changing housing preferences in the wake of the pandemic, as highlighted above.

With the stock of homes on the market constrained, there is scope for annual house price growth to accelerate further in the coming months, especially given the low base for comparison in early summer last year, he said. Further ahead, the outlook for the market is far more uncertain.

He said if unemployment rises sharply towards the end of the year as most analysts expect, there is scope for activity to slow, perhaps sharply, though even this could potentially be offset by ongoing shifts in housing preferences, if current trends are maintained.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said he expects prices to keep rising. He said: Although we may have been wondering if the glorious sunshine was ever going to arrive, the continued upwards trajectory of the property market comes as no real surprise. Buyers wanting more space, trying to take advantage of the extended stamp duty holiday and the lack of supply, are all pushing values upwards.

Lenders retain a strong appetite to lend with increased price competition leading to lower rates. Platform is launching the cheapest ever two-year fix this week, pegged at just 0.95%. Rates this low will continue to support the market, while the increased availability of low deposit mortgages will assist first-time buyers who are finding rising house prices increasingly difficult to deal with.

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