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House prices rose 10% in year to November

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

House prices have risen nearly 15% since the start of the pandemic, but there are signs the market is beginning to slow

The average UK house price rose 0.9% in November to £252,687, according to Nationwide.

Property prices are now up by 10% over the last year, and by 15% since the start of the pandemic.

Despite the double-digit rises, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said there have been some signs of cooling in housing market activity in recent months.

He explained: “The number of housing transactions were down almost 30% year-on-year in October. But this was almost inevitable, given the expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday at the end of September, which gave buyers a strong incentive to bring forward their purchase to avoid additional tax.

“But the outlook remains uncertain, where a number of factors suggest the pace of activity may slow. It is unclear what impact the new ‘Omicron’ variant will have on the wider economy. While consumer confidence stabilised in November, sentiment remains well below the levels seen during the summer, partly as a result of a sharp increase in the cost of living. Moreover, inflation is set to rise further, probably towards 5% in the coming quarters.”

Nicky Stevenson, managing director at estate agent Fine & Country, added: “House prices remain stubbornly high despite transaction levels beginning to relax following the record surge in activity earlier in the year.

“A poor supply of housing stock has been insufficient to meet the scramble for bigger homes with more outdoor space, and it’s too early yet to predict whether the new strain of Covid will dampen price growth in the future.

“While there’s certainly no evidence that we may be about to move into lower gears, we could experience an easing off from double digit growth in the months ahead.”