Nationwide says price growth is easing off

Chris Papadopoullos
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THE HOUSING market continued to come off the boil in January, according to a leading mortgage lender.

Year-on-year price growth slowed to 6.8 per cent in January from 7.2 per cent in December, figures released yesterday by Nationwide show.

It marks the fifth month in a row in which house price growth has declined.

“The further moderation in the pace of price growth is unsurprising, given the slowdown in housing market activity in recent months,” said Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner. “The reasons for the slowdown in activity remain unclear...although house price growth continues to outpace income growth by a significant margin, affordability does not appear stretched at a national level.” Affordability has been helped by record low mortgage rates, Gardner says. He also points out that a constrained supply of housing to the market could be the reason why prices remain robust, despite waning levels of demand.