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House prices rise at fastest pace for 18 months, Nationwide says

By Sean Farrell

Date: Friday 28 Feb 2020

House prices rise at fastest pace for 18 months, Nationwide says

(Sharecast News) - House prices rose at their fastest pace for 18 months in February as confidence recovered, Nationwide's survey of the market showed.
The annual rate of price increases was 2.3% in February, up from 1.9% in January, Britain's biggest building society said. The rise was the fastest since July 2018 and took the average house price to £216,092 from £215,897 a month before.

Nationwide said though the economy flatlined at the end of 2019 December's election result, low interest rates and high employment supported buyer confidence. A series of economic surveys have shown confidence recovering after the Conservatives' decisive election victory ended political paralysis over Brexit.

But Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said the market's recovery was tentative and that a number of obstacles ahead could dent housebuyer confidence.

"Economic developments will remain the key driver of housing market trends and house prices," Gardner said. "Business surveys suggest that activity recovered in the yew year, but there are still significant uncertainties that threaten to exert a drag on the economy in the coming quarters.

"The global economic backdrop remains challenging, with the coronavirus outbreak expected to weigh on global activity in the coming quarters. Investment is likely to remain subdued until the UK's future global trading relationships become clearer, which is unlikely until early next year."


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