United Kingdom: Housing market stays subdued in April
According to the Nationwide Building Society (NBS), house prices in the United Kingdom rose 0.4% in April compared to the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms, up from March’s 0.2% growth. On an annual basis, house prices rose 0.9% in April, up slightly from the 0.7% growth recorded in March. The average house price in April was GBP 214,920 (April 2018: GBP 213,000). Ongoing weakness in the housing market is likely linked to depressed consumer sentiment and intense Brexit uncertainty causing households to delay home purchases.
Going forward, house prices are likely to increase mildly, supported by a strong labor market and still-low borrowing costs. The evolution of the EU withdrawal process will be key; a smooth withdrawal could lift the cloud of uncertainty currently hanging over consumers and boost prices, while a no-deal Brexit could depress the property market.