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House prices remain static in August

Written by: Emma Lunn
The average cost of a home in the UK stayed the same between July and August, according to Nationwide.

House prices were unchanged month-on-month while annual house price growth remained subdued at 0.6 per cent, according to the Nationwide house price index.

For the ninth consecutive month, annual house prices rose by less than 1 per cent in the year to August, creeping up to an average of £216,096.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “While house price growth has remained fairly stable, there have been mixed signals from the property market in recent months. Surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased a little, though key consumer confidence indicators remain subdued.

“Data on the number of property transactions points to a slowdown in activity, though the number of mortgages approved for house purchase has remained broadly stable.”

The news of house price stagnation comes as a no-deal Brexit looms and Boris Johnson confirmed his plans to suspend the UK parliament next month.

Dilpreet Bhagrath, mortgage expert at online mortgage broker Trussle, said: “For prospective buyers looking to take hold of the plateau in house prices but want to protect themselves against Brexit uncertainty it may be worth considering a fixed-rate deal. Knowing how much repayments will cost each month will give some piece of mind. However, it’s always important to consider any personal and future circumstances when securing a mortgage, and seek advice to ensure you’re aware of the options.”

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Housesimple, said: “Gradual growth has been a reoccurring theme when it comes to house prices over the summer months, but we shouldn’t see this as a bad sign for the future. It’s rare to see big spikes in property prices during the warmer weather and the annual growth, albeit marginal, should still be seen in a positive light. Particularly amidst the uncertainty of our country’s current political position.

“Home movers will likely be looking to strike fast to complete deals before we leave the EU in the coming months. And buyers could follow suit – making faster decisions than usual. Who knows what will happen post Brexit but the worst thing people can do is sit on their hands and take the ‘wait and see’ approach.”

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