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House price growth picks up in November

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House prices edged up to 1.9% annually in November, Nationwide data has shown.  

A typical home in Britain is now worth £214, 534, after values edged up by 0.3% month-on-month, according to the building society’s house price index.

Supply has picked up and is just a touch below 2007 levels, but the squeeze on household budgets and uncertainty has dampened buyer demand, according to Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.

“If the uncertainty lifts in the months ahead and employment continues to rise, there is scope for activity to pick-up through next year.

“The squeeze on household incomes is already moderating and policymakers have signalled that, if the economy performs as they expect, interest rates are only expected to rise at a modest pace and to a limited extent in the years ahead,” he explained.

Over the last 10 years, total housing stock in England has grown by 1.9 million – up 8.5% from 2007.

The strongest growth has been in the South West, London and the East of England.

On the other hand, in the North East and North West, where house prices are still near 2007 levels, growth in supply has been more modest.

Brexit certainty needed

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents, admitted that despite the growth in house prices, Brexit uncertainty is taking its toll on the market.

“We cannot escape the fact that the property market is heavily driven by sentiment,” he said.

Smith noted that in October the number of people registering to buy a home at haart’s branches rose by 37% year-on-year, but transactions are not keeping pace.

“Clearly buyers and sellers are holding off as they wait for greater clarity.

“If the government can provide a strong vision of the UK’s post-Brexit future, greater stability and confidence will follow,” he added.