The latest data and analysis from Nationwide has revealed that annual price growth picked up to 5.0% in September, the highest rate since September 2016.
According to the figures, prices rose 0.9% month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors with most regions seeing a pickup in house price growth rates during Q3.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist said, “UK house prices increased by 0.9% month-on-month in September, after taking account of seasonal effects, following a 2.0% rise in August. As a result, there was a further pick up in annual house price growth from 3.7% in August to 5.0% in September – the highest level since September 2016.
“Housing market activity has recovered strongly in recent months. Mortgage approvals for house purchase rose from c66,000 in July to almost 85,000 in August – the highest since 2007, well above the monthly average of 66,000 prevailing in 2019.
“The rebound reflects a number of factors. Pent-up demand is coming through, with decisions taken to move before lockdown now progressing. The stamp duty holiday is adding to the momentum by bringing purchases forward. Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown.”
Nationwide research revealed that the ongoing pandemic is leading some to put off moving home altogether with figures indicating that, of the people that had been considering a move before the pandemic, 19% have put their plans on hold, with 27% of these citing concerns about the property market.
Gardener added, “Younger people were much more likely to have put off plans than older people, which may reflect concerns about employment prospects.
“Indeed, most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead as tighter restrictions dampen economic activity and the furlough scheme winds down. While the recently announced jobs support scheme will provide some assistance, it is not as comprehensive as the furlough scheme it replaces.”