Figures recently released by Nationwide indicate that in October, annual house price growth fell to 1.6% from the 2% reported the previous month.
Market watchers suggest that the lower activity for 2018 house prices is partly due to movers waiting to see if any of this year’s Budget include any positive changes for them, such as a reform of Land Tax and Stamp Duty.
It is also possible that buyers and sellers are holding off until more information is available on a Brexit deal before making any major decisions.
Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said that there was a slowdown in house price growth in October, moving annual growth below the 2 to 3% witnessed over the previous 12 months. He added that this was in line with expectations, as tighter household budgets and economic uncertainty would naturally reduce demand, and he expected to see 2018 house prices go up by around 1% over the course of the year.
Mike Scott, the chief property analyst at Yopa, an online estate agency, said that the October house price index reveals a renewed slowdown and that the number of house sales is well-below their 2007 peak.
He pointed out that the numbers of first-time buyers and cash buyers have resumed their pre-boom levels while the number of buys to let purchases was ascending until 2015 when the tax system put buy-to-let investors at a disadvantage and caused their numbers to fall to around one-third of the 2007 level.