House price growth lowest since 2013: Nationwide

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Annual UK house price growth in April was 2.6 per cent in April, the lowest level for four years, according to Nationwide.

Average house prices fell 0.4 per cent month-on-month, and the standard UK property is now worth £207,699.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner says: “House prices recorded their second consecutive monthly fall in April, while the annual rate of growth slowed to 2.6 per cent, the weakest since June 2013.

“In some respects, the softening in house price growth is surprising because the unemployment rate is near to a 40-year low, confidence is still relatively high and mortgage rates have fallen to new all-time lows in recent months.

“While monthly figures can be volatile, the recent softening in price growth may be a further indication that households are starting to react to the emerging squeeze on real incomes or to affordability pressures in key parts of the country.”

TMA Mortgage Club director David Copland says: “With house price growth remaining subdued for the second consecutive month, intermediaries must look at remortgaging opportunities in their back book.

“Across the country, more people are choosing to stay put rather than move, as property prices have risen considerably in the last two years.”

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “This month’s report suggests that house prices have decreased by 0.4% month on month, and increased 2.6 per cent year-on-year, which is still in line with the Nationwide’s prediction that house prices will, on average, increase by 2 per cent over the course of 2017.

“Whilst there will be a few who suggest that this is the start of an overall downslide in the market, it’s important to consider all the elements at play; the average house price as per the Nationwide report is still the highest since 2007, and activity levels remain broadly stable, both in terms of transaction volumes and lending.”