Nationwide latest house price report shows a slight increase in annual house price growth 0.2% on the month – picking up to 2.6%.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, commented on the figures: “There was a slight pickup in UK annual house growth in April to 2.6%, from 2.1% in March. House prices rose by 0.2% over the month, after taking account of seasonal factors.
February saw a softening in house purchase approvals to 64,000 cases, following a surprise rise in January. These figures are broadly in line with our expectations and close to the average for the last three months of 2017. Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries and recent months have also seen a softening in new instructions.
Looking ahead, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve, especially in the labour market, but also with respect to interest rates. Subdued economic activity and the ongoing squeeze on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year. We continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1% over the course of 2018.