House prices hold steady in July
Average UK house prices rose slightly in July, by 0.3%, said Nationwide.
This takes the average UK property price to £211,671 and annual house price inflation to 2.9%, a little lower than the 3.1% recorded in June.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said of the growth: “On the surface, this appears at odds with recent signs of cooling in the housing market. The number of housing transactions dipped to their lowest level for eight months in June, while in the same month the number of mortgages approved for house purchase moderated to a nine-month low of 65,000.
“But a lack of homes on the market appears to be providing support, with annual house price growth remaining only just outside the 3-6% range, that has been prevailing for most of the past two years.
Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, agreed that weak supply has supported house prices. “While demand is down at a time of economic and political uncertainty, the shortage of homes, both for sale and being built, is preventing prices from falling sharply,” he explained.
“The prospect of the first interest rate rise for many years, and the potential fallout that will ensue, is causing many households to err on the side of caution.
“In the current climate, it’s unlikely demand will increase sufficiently to drag the market out of its current rut.”