House price growth slows, says Nationwide

Slow house growth

Annual house price growth slowed in May with prices rising by 4.7% - down from 4.9% the previous month, and down from 5.7% in March. 

It takes the average UK house price to £204,368, according to building society Nationwide’s latest House Price Index.

Month-on-month, house prices rose by 0.2% from April to May.


Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, says today’s figures are “encouraging”.

“The latest figures from Nationwide are quite encouraging in a way because the slowdown in price growth is not as bad a comedown as one might expect following the rush from landlords and second homebuyers to beat the stamp duty hike.”

However, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, warns that it’s still difficult to gauge the full impact of stamp duty hikes, which took place on 1 April for new buy-to-let borrowers. 


He says: “In the near term, it’s going to be difficult to gauge the underlying strength of activity in the housing market due to the volatility generated by the stamp duty changes which took effect from 1 April.

“Nevertheless, healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs are expected to underpin a steady increase in housing market activity once stamp duty related volatility has passed, providing the economic recovery remains on track.

But Mark Posniak, managing director at Dragonfly Property Finance, adds that the EU referendum on 23 June, could also impact house prices. "What's hard to deny is that the result of the EU referendum could have a material impact on house prices in the short to medium term”, he says.

"What happens in June could determine the fate of the market for several years to come."       

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