Published: Thu, November 02, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

UK House Prices Rise Modestly in October


House prices grew 0.2% in October compared with September's revised 0.4% growth, according to data from the Nationwide Building Society.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of property lender Octane Capital, said that the now familiar narrative of strong employment, a lack of homes for sale, and low borrowing costs continue to prop up prices.

United Kingdom house prices rose modestly in October, posting a month-on-month increase that was in line with expectations. The annual increase from 2.3% in September up to 2.5% in October is a three month high for the United Kingdom housing market which has been under pressure of late.

Property demand could take a further hit this week if the Bank of England presses ahead with a well-flagged interest-rate increase.

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The impact of a small rise in interest rates is likely to be modest for most United Kingdom households, according to mortgage lender Nationwide.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agent HouseSimple.com, said the housing market now "feels flat and in need of a spark", noting that while demand was steady there was little urgency among buyers. That follows gains of 0.4% on the month and 2.3% on the year, in September. Looking at the wider picture this increase is relatively small but in the current environment, with household incomes being squeezed, more funding diverted towards mortgage payments will place pressure on other areas of household expenditure.

Howard Archer, the group's chief economic adviser, said the housing market was likely to remain challenging over the coming months against a backdrop of falling real wages and fragile consumer confidence.

But Mr Gardner also stressed that this does not necessarily mean that a rate increase would be welcome news for borrowers.

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'While fears over Brexit and the slowing economy have both played their part in slowing the market, the greatest inhibitor has been the punitive levels of stamp duty charged on high value homes.

"While a potential quarter point interest rate rise this week will be manageable, it's the impact on sentiment that is the unknown", he said.

A 0.25% interest rate hike would likely add around £15 to a monthly mortgage - £180 per year.

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