Nationwide House Price Index March 2018

Nationwide House Price Index March 2018

The report issued by the Nationwide this morning is based on lending for house purchases at post survey approvals stage, so provides us with an accurate bellwether of the UK housing market in February from one of the country’s biggest mortgage lenders.

After a solid start to the year, the data reports that prices have cooled in February by 0.3% on the previous month, although annual house price growth is still positive at 2.2%, so in that respect the market is performing within expectations for this year.

Having said that, the fact that prices dropped in February from January might suggest that those were buying properties last month were in negotiation mode and chipping the purchase price. At this stage, it’s too early to say that any suggestion of interest rate increases in 2018 made any difference to consumer confidence in relation to house prices in February, and more likely it’s practical factors that caused prices to cool. For example as the Nationwide report suggests, mortgage approvals have hit a three year low, which suggests less competition for properties in some areas, which would naturally lead to it becoming more of a ‘buyers’ market’.” That said, this is likely to be offset by the fact that stock levels remain low, therefore providing a counterbalance, which provides support for the market as we move towards the Spring.

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