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Annual house price growth still in double digits, despite slowing

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

The rate of growth may be slowing but house prices are still rising, according to the latest figures

House prices rose by 0.8% in August, said Nationwide, taking the average property prices to £273,751.

Annual UK house price growth slowed to 10% in August, from 11% in July, but the slowdown belies a robust market, with prices up a staggering £50,000 over the last two years.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “There are signs that the housing market is losing some momentum, with surveyors reporting fewer new buyer enquiries in recent months and the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases falling below pre-pandemic levels. However, the slowdown to date has been modest, and combined with a shortage of stock on the market, has meant that price growth has remained firm.

“We expect the market to slow further as pressure on household budgets intensifies in the coming quarters, with inflation set remain in double digits into next year. Moreover, the Bank of England is widely expected to continue raising interest rates, which will also exert a cooling impact on the market if this feeds through to mortgage rates, which have already increased noticeably in recent months.”

Nicky Stevenson, managing director at estate agent group, Fine & Country, added: “Price gains continue to soften amid a squeeze on living standards and a decline in buyer affordability. Underlying demand remains robust though spiking energy bills and increased borrowing costs are having a gradual cooling effect which is expected to become more pronounced later in the year.”

“While the pace of growth is no longer accelerating, demand continues to outstrip supply throughout most of the country and the desire to trade-up among existing homeowners remains strong” she continued.

“Ten successive months of double digit growth is remarkable, but we expect momentum to soften as recession looms larger.”