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Thursday, 28 April 2016

UK house prices set to slow

Although UK house prices and transactions surged in the run up to the tax deadline, price growth is now expected to slow.

Nationwide's April data (not seasonally adjusted) showed prices rising from £200,251 to a record £202,436 in the month.

However, the seasonally adjusted gain of 0.2 per cent for the month and 4.9 per cent for the year does suggest an imminent slowdown, with the annual gain dropping quite sharply from 5.7 per cent in March. 

The huge surge in March was reflected by an all-time high 165,400 transactions as landlords rushed to beat the tax deadline, with lending also surging by around 60 per cent year-on-year driven by rocketing buy-to-let mortgages.

The north/south divide has continued to widen, with Nationwide's Q1 2016 data showing the gulf at a record high, as London (+11.5 per cent) and now Outer Met (+12.2 per cent) prices yet again bolted higher over the year while regional prices have stalled.

Price growth should now flatten, but watch out for a spike in rents in London and the south east of England later in 2016 as buy-to-let lending dries up.

Nationwide's reports can be found here.