House prices rise 4.9% in the past year

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House prices grew 4.9 per cent in the year to April, according to Nationwide.

The average house price now stands at £202,436, which is up 0.2 per cent since March.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner says: “While UK house prices edged up 0.2 per cent during the month of April, the annual rate of house price growth moderated to 4.9 per cent from 5.7 per cent in March.

“This slowdown returns the annual pace of house price growth to the fairly narrow range between 3 per cent and 5 per cent that had been prevailing since the summer of 2015.

“It may be that the surge in house purchase activity resulting from the increase in stamp duty on second homes from 1 April provided a temporary boost to prices in March.

“However, it is possible that the recent pattern of strong employment growth, rising real earnings, low borrowing costs and constrained supply will tilt the demand/supply balance in favour of sellers and exert upward pressure on price growth once again in the quarters ahead.”