The average house price in the UK grew by 5.6% over that past year according to Nationwide’s House Price Index for August. Many commentators are now claiming this rise as evidence that the result of the EU referendum has had little to no effect on the UK’s housing market so far, though some remain cautious as to whether it will have an effect eventually.

Monthly Increase Also on the Rise

Nationwide’s House Price Index also showed that there has been a monthly increase of 0.6% to complement the annual increase of 5.6%. That monthly increase has gone up by 0.1%, as the previous month’s monthly increase was 0.5%. August now has the biggest individual month increase since March, which is unlikely to be topped due to that month seeing a spike in property interest due to the stamp duty increase that began in the following April.

Price Growth ‘At Odds’ with General Downturn

The Nationwide’s Chief Economist, Robert Gardner, has stated in response to the results of the House Price Index that this growth is the only positive sign for the UK’s housing market, which has seen more negative signs since the Brexit result.

Mr Gardner said, “The pick up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that housing market activity has slowed in recent months. New buyer enquiries have softened as a result of the introduction of additional stamp duty on second homes in April and the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell to an eighteen-month low in July.”

Other Experts Believe Downturn just a ‘Seasonal Adjustment’

The founder and CEO of online estate eMoov, Russell Quirk, is hopeful that the recent price rise is not a blip and that the UK housing market is looking good for the future. Mr Quirk said, “Now two full months on from Brexit D-day and still no inkling that there has been any immediate impact on the UK housing market, in fact quite the opposite. House prices have increased 0.6% in August, a marginal increase, but double that when compared to Nationwide’s figures for this time a year ago. So rather than the changes to stamp duty and the Leave vote toppling the property market, we’re actually in a stronger position than we were in August 2015.”

“This continued increase has been attributed to a slowdown in both buyer demand and housing supply, which has helped to keep the scales finely balanced. However, this cooling in the market on both sides of the fence highlights that any steam lost is almost certainly a seasonal adjustment. With the summer holidays now drawing to a close and life returning to normality for many, I expect we will see the UK housing market kick it up a gear as we head into September.”


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