According to the Nationwide House Price Index, UK house prices were unchanged month on month in October and annual house price growth slowed to 4.6%, from 5.3% in September.Average house price in UK was £205,904 in October.

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said:

“After fifteen successive monthly increases UK house prices were unchanged in October (after taking account of seasonal factors). As a result, the annual rate of house price growth slowed to 4.6%, from 5.3% in September, though this is still in line with the growth rates prevailing since early 2015.

“Measures of housing market activity remain fairly subdued, with the number of residential property transactions c10% below the levels recorded in the same period of 2015 in recent months. However, this weakness may still in part reflect the after-effects of the introduction stamp duty on second homes introduced in April, where buyers brought forward transactions to Q1 to avoid additional stamp duty
liabilities (see chart below). Policy changes impacting the Buy to Let market may also be playing a role in dampening activity.”

“Data releases point to fairly stable demand conditions in the near term. Mortgage approvals edged up modestly in September, though they remain weak by historic standards. Surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased modestly in recent months.”

“While the economic outlook is uncertain, solid labour market conditions and historically low borrowing costs should provide support to buyer confidence. Moreover, the relatively low number of homes on the market and modest rates of housing construction are likely to keep the demand/supply balance fairly tight, even if economic conditions weaken in the quarters ahead, as most forecasters expect.”

Source: Nationwide