Nationwide figures indicate uplift in house price growth

Recent data shows that house price growth saw a modest uplift in April.

According to Nationwide figures, annual growth of house prices was up from 2.1% in March to 2.6% this month.

When taking seasonal factors into account, prices still observed a rise over the month, albeit more muted. Seeing an increase of 0.2%, average house prices grew from £211,625 in March to £213,000 in April.

The data also indicated that the proportion of cash transactions saw a slight dip during the past 18 months, something which has in part been attributed to the stamp duty levy on second homes. However, buyers using cash still represent approximately a third of transactions.

Where first time buyers were concerned, the building society found that transactions are returning to pre-crisis levels, with government schemes helping to boost activity within the group.

Commenting on the statistics was Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner. He stated: “February saw a softening in house purchase approvals to 64,000 cases, following a surprise rise in January. These figures are broadly in line with our expectations and close to the average for the last three months of 2017. Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries and recent months have also seen a softening in new instructions.

“Looking 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 the ongoing squeeze on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year. We continue to expect house prices to rise by around one percent over the course of 2018.”

Today's Conveyancer