Nationwide: Housing market remains robust as annual house price growth hits five-year high

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2020

The latest market analysis from Nationwide has confirmed that the housing market recovery continues into autumn, with this morning's figures revealing that annual house price growth rises to 5.8% in October, the highest rate since Jan 2015.

After taking account of seasonal factors, the society says that house prices were up 0.8% month-on-month during October, following a 0.9% rise in September.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, comments:

“Data suggests that the economic recovery has lost momentum in recent months with economic growth slowing sharply to 2.1% in August, down from 6.4% in July, despite a strong boost to the hospitality sector from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which has since expired.

“Labour market conditions also weakened with the unemployment rate rising to 4.5% in the three months to August – still low by historic standards, but up from an average of 3.8% in 2019.

“Nevertheless, housing market activity has remained robust. Mortgage approvals for house purchase climbed to 91,500 in September – the highest level since 2007.

“The outlook remains highly uncertain and will depend heavily on how the pandemic and the measures to contain it evolve as well as the efficacy of policy measures implemented to limit the damage to the wider economy. Behavioural shifts as a result of Covid-19 may provide support for housing market activity, while the stamp duty holiday will continue to provide a near term boost by bringing purchases forward.

“However, activity is likely to slow in the coming quarters, perhaps sharply, if the labour market weakens as most analysts expect, especially once the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March.".

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