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House prices hold steady, but Brexit storm looms

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The London slump has started to spread to the regions as Brexit fears impact confidence
House prices hold steady, but Brexit storm looms

UK house prices rose 0.3% to an average £214,922, in September, according to Nationwide.

The mutual said this was 2% higher than the same time last year, as growth has held steady between 2% to 3% inflation over the course of the year.

Of course, the national trend belies more dramatic regional movements, with house prices in the North catching the capital’s cold and falling 1.7% year on year, while in Yorkshire and Humberside property prices are up 5.8%.

Prices in London fell for the fifth quarter in a row and are now 0.3% lower than a year ago, although the pace of the falls is now slowing.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, anticipated a national slowdown towards the end of the year. “Subdued economic activity and ongoing pressure on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year, though borrowing costs are likely to remain low,” he said.

“Overall, we continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018.”

Brexit threat

The ever-present threat of Brexit continues to weigh over the UK economy and could have significant consequences for the housing market.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, said: “A chaotic Brexit has the potential to hit confidence and the property market for six.

“London will be in the firing line if Brexit sees international business and overseas investors steer clear. Over-exuberant house price growth from the recent past has made it even more vulnerable.

“The capital’s property market will bounce back but in the event of a chaotic Brexit it could bear the brunt of the pain.”

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