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UK House prices continue upwards

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UK house prices rose by 2 per cent in August, pushing up the annual growth rate to 3.7 per cent, said Nationwide, reporting on its latest House Price Index.

House prices now stand at an all-time high, said the mortgage lender.

And the ‘unexpectedly rapid recovery’ looks set to continue for a while, with the effect of the stamp duty holiday still to work through.

But not all is positive.

‘Most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead’, said Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner. If the forecasters are proved right ‘it would likely dampen housing activity once again in the quarters ahead’.

Nationwide puts the average price of a UK house at £224k in August, up from £221k in July.

All lost ground has now been made up.

‘This rebound reflects a number of factors’, said Gardner.

‘Pent up demand is coming through, where decisions taken to move before the lockdown are progressing. Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown.

‘Our own research, conducted in May, indicated that around 15 per cent of people surveyed were considering moving as a result of lockdown’.