House prices rise at fastest clip since November 2018

Marco Green
January 29, 2020

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said: "January saw a further modest pickup in annual United Kingdom house price growth to 1.9%, from 1.4% in December".

Prices rose 1.9% on the year following a 1.4% increase in December, beating expectations of a 1.5% jump.

On top of that, the annual level of house price growth across major United Kingdom cities has hit a two year high of 3.9 per cent.

House prices across United Kingdom cities were up 3.9 per cent on a year earlier, the biggest rise for two years.

The Bank of England will need to weigh up signs of a recent economic pick-up against an overall sluggish picture in official measures of growth at the end of past year, when it decided whether to announce an interest rate cut on Thursday.

Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson after his decisive election victory.

"This follows 12 successive months in which annual price growth had been below 1%". Three-month-on-three-month growth in Nationwide's house price index picked up to 0.8% in January - its highest rate since March 2018 - from 0.5% in December.

Figures from estate agent Rightmove last week showed average asking prices leap at their fastest rate on record in January, up around 2.3% month-on-month to £306,810.

"Looking ahead, economic developments will remain the key driver of housing market trends and house prices".

"Indicators of United Kingdom economic activity were fairly volatile for much of 2019 but the underlying pace of growth slowed through the year as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty".

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors residential chairman, said of the latest Nationwide data: "These figures confirm what we are seeing in our offices as there has been more buyer and seller optimism around since even just before the election". Regional cities in general are performing best due to continued economic growth and better affordability, said Donnell.

With the exception of Belfast, every United Kingdom city recorded an increase in demand from buyers over this period, with Sheffield, Leeds and Leicester showing the greatest above-average increases.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said: "The underlying pace of housing market activity has remained broadly stable, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase continuing within the fairly narrow range prevailing over the past two years".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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