The Nationwide Building Society has reported that UK annual house price growth remained below 1% for the seventh consecutive month in June, at 0.5%.
The UK’s largest building society revealed a 0.1% price rise during the month, after taking account of seasonal factors.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Survey data suggests that new buyer enquiries and consumer confidence have remained subdued in recent months. Nevertheless, indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable.
“Housing market trends are likely to continue to mirrordevelopments in the broader economy. While healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, uncertainty is likely to continue to act as a drag on sentiment and activity, with price growth and transaction levels remaining close to current levels over the coming months.
“Northern Ireland remained the strongest performing home nation in Q2, with annual price growth rising to 5.2%, from 3.3% last quarter. Wales also saw a pick up to 4.2%, from 0.9% in Q1. Price growth in Scotland was more subdued, at just 0.4% year-on-year. Nevertheless, England remained the weakest performing home nation, with prices essentially flat compared with a year ago.
“Looking across England, the Outer Metropolitan was the weakest performing region in the three months to June, closely followed by the Outer South East, with annual price declines of 1.8% and 1.6% respectively.
“Prices also fell in London for the eighth quarter in a row, though the annual pace of decline moderated to 0.7%, from 3.8% last quarter. Moreover, prices in the capital are still only around 5% below the all-time highs recorded on Q1 2017 and c50% above their 2007 levels (by comparison, UK prices are only around 17% higher over the same period).
“Elsewhere in England, annual price growth remained relatively modest in Q2, with Yorkshire & Humberside the best performing region, with a 3% year-on-year rise.
“House price growth across northern England (North, NorthWest, Yorkshire & Humberside, East Midlands and West Midlands) averaged 2.1%, remaining ahead of that in the south (London, Outer Metropolitan, Outer South East and East Anglia), which experienced a 0.7% fall. These trends are not entirely unexpected, however, as they follow several years of sustained outperformance in London and the south, which left affordability more stretched in these areas.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “These figures show the market remains in limbo at present awaiting political direction and more certainty but no real movement one way or the other. Encouragingly, both prime ministerial contenders seem to recognise the importance of housing market activity to economic prosperity, irrespective of Brexit.
“At the sharp end, many buyers in particular are still cautious but looking beyond 31st October whereas successful sellers are facing up to sometimes unpalatable offers in order to move on.”