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Financial News: UK House Price Growth Accelerates In December

UK House Price Growth Accelerates In December

01/04/2018 - 02:58:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK house prices increased at a slightly faster pace at the end of 2017, data from Nationwide Building Society showed Thursday.

House prices grew 2.6 percent year-on-year in December, slightly faster than the 2.5 percent rise seen in November. The annual rate was expected to ease to 2 percent

On a monthly basis, house price growth increased to 0.6 percent from 0.1 percent a month ago. Prices were forecast to gain only 0.1 percent.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said house price growth at the end of the year remained within in the 2-4 percent range that prevailed throughout 2017. Nonetheless, it suggested a moderate slowdown from the 4-6 percent level logged in 2016.

Low mortgage rates and healthy employment growth continued to support demand, while supply constraints underpinned house prices. However, this was offset by mounting pressure on household incomes.

House prices in London declined in annual terms for the first time in eight years, albeit at a moderate 0.5 percent. London ended the year as the weakest performing region for the first time since 2004.

The economist said the housing market performance this year will be determined by developments in the wider economy.

Nationwide forecast the UK economy to grow 1 percent to 1.5 percent in 2018 and 2019. Overall, house prices are expected to rise by around 1 percent in 2018.

"Over the longer term, once the economy regains momentum, we expect house prices to rise broadly in line with earnings (around 3%-4% per annum), though if the rate of house building fails to keep up with population growth, prices may outpace earnings once again, as they have in recent years," said Gardner.

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