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House prices almost flat in the UK as uncertainty stalls growth

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
Building work on the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in south London. A large number of luxury and ultra-luxury new-build apartments in London are failing to sell, as overseas investors invest less in UK property. Picture date: Wednesday November 14th, 2018. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.
Building work in London. Photo: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment

Property prices are almost flat in the UK as uncertainty stalls growth in the housing market, according to new figures.

Prices inched up 0.1% between May and June, taking the average property price to almost £217,000, according to the Nationwide house price index released on Tuesday.

But the small increase still marked a return to growth, after prices had dipped 0.2% the previous month.

The annual rate of property price growth dipped from 0.6% in the 12 months to May to 0.5%.

“Survey data suggests that new buyer inquiries and consumer confidence have remained subdued in recent months,” Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said.

“UK annual house price growth remained below 1% for the seventh consecutive month in June, at 0.5%.”

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He said trends in the broader UK economy were likely the main factor affecting growth.

Continued uncertainty over Brexit, changes to stamp duty, and other property tax reforms are widely thought to have dampened growth in recent years.

“While healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, uncertainty is likely to continue to act as a drag on sentiment and activity, with price growth and transaction levels remaining close to current levels over the coming months,” Gardner said.