October 2, 2018 / 6:17 AM / 3 months ago

House prices rise only slowly again in September - Nationwide

LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices rose only slowly again in September, extending their weak run since the 2016 Brexit vote, according to data published on Tuesday by mortgage lender Nationwide.

FILE PHOTO: Terraced houses are seen in Primrose Hill, London, Britain September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Compared with September 2017, prices rose by 2.0 percent, unchanged from August’s increase and matching the slowest pace of growth in five years.

That was slightly above a median forecast of 1.9 percent in a Reuters poll of economists.

“Subdued economic activity and ongoing pressure on household budgets is likely to continue to exert a modest drag on housing market activity and house price growth this year, though borrowing costs are likely to remain low,” Nationwide economist Robert Gardner said.

“Overall, we continue to expect house prices to rise by around 1 percent over the course of 2018.”

House prices based on Nationwide’s index were rising by about 5 percent a year at the time of the referendum decision to leave the European Union in June 2016.

Since then, many households have seen their spending power pinched by inflation that has risen faster than pay and uncertainty about Britain’s economy outside the EU has also weighed on the property market.

Nationwide said prices rose by 0.3 percent in September from August when they fell by a monthly 0.5 percent.

While prices are rising in some regions such as Yorkshire and the East Midlands, they fell by 0.7 percent in London in the three months to September compared with the same period last year, the fifth quarterly fall in a row.

However, prices in the capital are only about 3 percent below a record high hit in early 2017 and are still more than 50 percent above their 2007 levels, Nationwide said.

Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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