United Kingdom: House price growth pulls back in January
According to the Nationwide Building Society, house prices in the United Kingdom fell 0.3% month-on-month in January, contrasting December’s 0.9% rise. On an annual basis, house prices were up 6.4%, below December’s multi-year high of 7.3%. The average house price in January was GBP 229,748. The softening in the market was likely due to the end of the stamp duty holiday (which lasts until end-March) drawing near: The holiday, coupled with rock-bottom interest rates and households’ increased demand for more spacious properties due to home working, boosted home purchases last year.
On the outlook, Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, stated:
“Shifts in housing preferences are likely to continue to provide some support for the market. However, if the stamp duty holiday ends as scheduled, and labour market conditions continue to weaken as most analysts expect, housing market activity is likely to slow, perhaps sharply, in the coming months.”