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Sellers remain on sidelines as November sees ‘marginal’ house price growth

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
House prices grew by just 0.5 per cent in November, the latest house price index from Nationwide reveals, taking the average price to £215,734.

For the 12th month running, annual house price growth has now failed to rise above one per cent, registering just 0.8 per cent.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, noted that while subdued, November’s growth was the “strongest outturn” since April.

He added: “Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty.

“To date, the slowdown has largely centred on business investment, while household spending has been more resilient.”

Seller hesitancy

David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group, said some sellers were still “proving stubborn” on price but added: “Overall there is a bit more realism than there was earlier in the year.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “At the moment there is a lack of stock coming onto the market as sellers hold back and remain on the sidelines.

“I think this will change once we put Brexit behind us, and we can move forward as a country. For now, the positives are that money continues to be cheap to borrow and property prices are more realistic.”

And Guy Harrington, chief executive of Glenhawk, said the figures showed that 2019 was continuing to be an “annus horribilis”.

He continued: “Worryingly for UK vendors, with neither the Tory or Labour manifesto offering much cause for optimism, it may take more than a general election and Brexit resolution to rouse the market from its deep slumber.”

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