United Kingdom: Housing market ends year on a high note
According to the Nationwide Building Society, house prices in the United Kingdom rose 1.0% month-on-month in December, following November’s 0.9% rise. On an annual basis, house price growth was 10.4%, above November’s 10.0% increase. House prices in December likely continued to be buoyed by tight home supply, low interest rates and changes in housing preferences due to the pandemic, which more than offset the end of the stamp duty holiday on home purchases.
On the outlook, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said:
“It appears likely that the housing market will slow next year, since the stamp duty holiday encouraged many to bring forward their house purchase in order to avoid additional tax. […] Even if wider economic conditions remain resilient, higher interest rates are likely to exert a cooling influence. Indeed, house price growth has outpaced income growth by a significant margin over the past 18 months and, as a result, housing affordability is already less favourable than before the pandemic struck.”