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Financial News: UK House Price Inflation Unexpectedly Climbs To 10-Month

UK House Price Inflation Unexpectedly Climbs To 10-Month High: Nationwide Survey

02/01/2018 - 02:31:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK house price inflation accelerated to its highest level in 10 months in January, defying expectations for a slowing, results of a survey showed Thursday.

The house price index rose 3.2 percent year-on-year after a 2.6 percent increase in December, results of the survey by the Nationwide Building Society showed. Economists had expected 2.5 percent gain.

The latest inflation figure was the highest since March 2017, when the rate was 3.5 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, house prices increased 0.6 percent from December, when they rose at the same pace. Economists were looking for only a modest gain of 0.1 percent.

"The acceleration in annual house price growth is a little surprising, given signs of softening in the household sector in recent months," Nationwide's Chief Economist Robert Gardner said.

"How the housing market performs in the year ahead will be determined in large part by developments in the wider economy," the economist added.

Nationwide continues to expect the UK economy to grow at modest pace, with annual growth of 1 percent to 1.5 percent in 2018 and 2019. Subdued economic activity and the ongoing squeeze on household budgets are expected to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth.

"Nevertheless, housing market activity is expected to slow only modestly, since unemployment and mortgage interest rates are expected to remain low by historic standards," Gardner said.

"Similarly, the subdued pace of building activity evident in recent years and the shortage of properties on the market are likely to provide ongoing support for house prices."

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