The latest figures from the Nationwide House Price Index were released this morning highlighting the market remained flat in October with monthly growth static and annual growth at 1.6%. As a result, the latest average UK house price according to Nationwide is £214,534.
Nationwide attributed the static monthly growth to seasonal effects, but the annual rate of growth is the slowest seen since May 2013.
Despite the slower rate of growth, there has been a lift in the number of first-time buyers in recent years while buy to let purchases have fallen due to a string of legislative restrictions implemented by the Government.
While mortgage affordability has also remained low, the number of buyers doing so with a mortgage has remained firm.
However, with the delivery of the Autumn Budget on Monday, there was hope of a rejuvenated level of activity in the housing market as a result of a potential boost by the Government. Although it is of course far too early to tell, the lack of any meaningful housing initiatives means this is unlikely to come to fruition.
The slowest rate of price growth in more than five years is to be expected given the mix of seasonality and wider market instability.
While many were hoping the market may catch a second wind heading towards Christmas this has failed to materialise, and a predictably disappointing Budget where housing is concerned will ensure this air of lethargy remains prevalent over the coming months.
While the market will end 2018 with a limp, not a sprint, it should still match industry predictions where annual performance is concerned.Russell Quirk