United Kingdom: Housing market wanes in December
According to the Nationwide Building Society (NBS), house prices in the United Kingdom decreased 0.7% in December compared to the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms, contrasting November’s 0.4% uptick. On an annual basis, house prices rose a mere 0.5%, down notably from November’s 1.9% rise. The average house price in December was GBP 212,281 (December 2017: GBP 211,156). The loss of momentum in the housing market comes amid depressed consumer confidence and a recent drop-off in buyer enquiries.
Going forward, house prices are likely to continue to increase mildly, supported by a strong labor market and still-low borrowing costs. The evolution of the EU withdrawal process will be key to the future evolution of prices; a smooth withdrawal could lift the cloud of uncertainty currently hanging over consumers and boost prices.