The pace of annual house price growth has slowed to its lowest rate since January, according to the latest figures from the Nationwide House Price Index.
In the year to November, house prices rose by 4.4% compared to 4.6% in the year to October.
On a monthly basis, house prices were up 0.1% in November, with the price of an average home costing £204,947.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist said:
“There are some signs that, despite the uncertain economic outlook, demand conditions have strengthened a little in recent months, reflecting the impact of solid labour market conditions and historically low borrowing costs.
“Mortgage approvals increased in October, and surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased modestly.
“The relatively low number of homes on the market and modest rates of housing construction are likely to keep the demand/supply balance fairly tight in the quarters ahead, even if economic conditions weaken, as most forecasters expect.”
According to Adrian Gill, executive director of Your Move & Reeds Rains, the fact that house price growth has slowed should not be cause for concern for the market.
“This period of calm represents a fantastic opportunity for those looking to get a foot onto the property ladder.
“With so many lenders now offering record low mortgage rates, there has never been a better time to buy.”
Robert Gardner highlighted the fact that fixed rate mortgages have remained the most popular product type by a considerable margin in recent years.
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders over 90% of new mortgages were contracted on fixed rates over the past twelve months. This may be driven by a desire to lock in record low interest rates, Gardner said.
“Fixed rate deals are most popular amongst first time buyers for whom certainty over monthly payments is likely to be particularly important.Indeed, over the past twelve months 95% of new mortgage lending to first time buyers was on fixed rates”.
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