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UK house prices fell in May

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There are few signs of an imminent change, with house prices predicted to rise by just 1% this year
UK house prices fell in May

Prices fell 0.2% month-on-month between April and May to £213K, according to Nationwide, dragging down the annual rate of house price inflation to 2.4%.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “There are few signs of an imminent change. Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries, while the supply of properties on the market remains more of a trickle than a torrent.

“Looking further ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates. 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. Overall, we continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, added: “The property market is fuelled by confidence but many consumers are running on fumes.

“Low stock levels and continued cheap borrowing rates will prevent a material decline in prices but equally a rise greater than very low single digits is highly unlikely.

“From a house price growth perspective, 2018 is looking greyer by the day.”

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