United Kingdom: Housing market momentum stays solid in September
According to the Nationwide Building Society, house prices in the United Kingdom rose 0.1% month-on-month in September, following August’s 2.0% rise. On an annual basis, house price growth was 10.0%, below August’s 11.0% increase but remaining in double digits for the fifth straight month. House prices in September 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 tapering of the stamp duty holiday on home purchases.
On the outlook, Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, commented:
“Activity is likely to soften for a period after the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of September […]. Moreover, underlying demand is likely to soften around the turn of the year if unemployment rises as government support winds down, as seems likely. But this is far from assured. The labour market has remained remarkably resilient to date and, even if it does weaken, there is scope for shifts in housing preferences as a result of the pandemic—such as wanting more space or to relocate—to continue to support activity for some time yet.”