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House prices hold firm in November

Written by: Christina Hoghton
UK house prices inched up marginally in November by 0.1%, according to Nationwide.

The UK’s largest building society puts the average property price at £211,085, and said the annual increase in house prices remains steady at 2.5%.

In fact, house price growth has stayed within a narrow range of 2-4% since March this year.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Low mortgage rates and healthy rates of employment growth are providing support for demand, but this is being partly offset by pressure on household incomes, which appears to be weighing on confidence.

“The lack of homes on the market is providing support to house prices.”

Stamp Duty impact

Nationwide also predicted that the scrapping of Stamp Duty for first-time buyers is unlikely to have a huge increase on buyer demand, as Gardner explained:

“In many regions, first-time buyers already paid little or no Stamp Duty as the price of the typical first-time buyer property was below the previous threshold of £125,000.

“The potential savings are more substantial for borrowers where house prices are higher, especially in London and the South East.”

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, added: “Despite the enthusiastic reception given to the cut in Stamp Duty for first-time buyers announced in last week’s Budget, it’s too early to detect its impact in the increasingly stagnant picture painted by the Nationwide.

“Even then, no-one should expect the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty giveaway to be a silver bullet. As the Nationwide’s analysis shows, outside London it will only affect a tiny minority of first-time buyers.”

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