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January house prices are 1.9% higher than a year ago

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January house prices are 1.9% higher than a year ago

January saw house prices across the UK up by 1.9% on the same time last year and up 1.4% on December, according to figures from the Nationwide Building Society.

The Nationwide, one of the UK’s leading lenders, said prices reached a 14-month high as the so-called ‘Boris bounce’ brought post-election confidence to the housing market.

In its report, the building society points to other signs of revival, including the highest increase in the number of mortgages approved by Britain’s high street banks in five years.

According to Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist: “Healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs appear to be offsetting the drag from the uncertain economic outlook. January’s pickup comes after a whole year of annual house price gains below 1%.”

Meanwhile data from property portal Zoopla shows that annual house price growth in the UK’s 20 biggest cities has hit a two-year high, thanks to a surge in demand for properties. London saw 1.9% growth, the fastest since 2017.

Among the economists forecasting growth in house prices this year is Samuel Tombs, the chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, who said: “Indicators of demand at the very start of the homebuying process are red-hot.

“We think the pickup in demand can be sustained this year by the continuation of low mortgage rates and solid wage growth, driving prices up by about 4%.”

The discrepancy in house prices between London and elsewhere has narrowed by 20% since the Brexit vote, according to research published by the Resolution Foundation.

Read more about this story in The Guardian.

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