House prices rise despite 'Brexit'

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Thu 01 Sep 2016

House prices rise despite 'Brexit'

UK house prices continue to defy the Brexit vote gloom after rising 0.6% in August, Nationwide has revealed.



The lender’s latest house price index showed the monthly increase also pushed up annual growth from 5.2% to 5.6%, giving an average figure of £206,145 in August.

Robert Gardner, chief economist for Nationwide said the outlook for the market remains clouded.

He said: “The pick-up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that housing market activity has slowed in recent months.

“New buyer enquiries have softened as a result of the introduction of additional Stamp Duty on second homes in April and the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to an 18-month low in July.

“However, the decline in demand appears to have been matched by weakness on the supply side of the market. Surveyors report that instructions to sell have also declined and the stock of properties on the market remains close to 30-year lows. This helps to explain why the pace of house price growth has remained broadly stable.”

Saying the outlook for the housing market is still clouded, he added: “What happens next on the demand side will be determined, to a large extent, by the outlook for the labour market and confidence amongst prospective buyers.”