A strong labour market and limited housing stock contributed to support UK house price annual growth in double digits in July, despite rising interest rates, high inflation and lower affordability.
UK house prices rose at an annual rate of 11 per cent last month, slightly up from the 10.7 per cent in June, according to the mortgage provider Nationwide.
The increase took the average house price to £271,209, £55,000 above the level in February 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Demand continues to be supported by strong labour market conditions,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist. “At the same time, the limited stock of homes on the market has helped keep upward pressure on house price.”
However, the impact of inflation running at a 40-year high of 9.4 per cent and record low consumer confidence were highlighted by a cooling of mortgage transactions managed by Nationwide.
Total housing market transactions in the three months to May were about 20 per cent below the elevated levels resulting from the stamp duty holiday, Nationwide reported. Yet they were still 5 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.
Home mover transactions with a mortgage have slowed more than other sectors, while first time buyer mortgage completions have remained resilient.
This is despite house price growth continuing to outpace earnings by a wide margin, increasing the required deposit. Together with higher interest rates, these have pushed up mortgage repayments relative to incomes.
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