Nationwide house price index: UK housing supply at its lowest level since 1970s

Jessica Morris
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House Prices Hit New High In The UK
Osborne is trying to tackle the housing crisis (Source: Getty)

Annual house price growth slowed to a five-month low in November - despite the number of available homes on the market falling to a level not seen since the 1970s.

Nationwide's house price index showed house prices increased 0.1 per cent in November, meaning the annual growth rate fell from 3.9 per cent a month earlier to 3.7 per cent.

"This was the smallest increase since June and marked at least a temporary relapse in the recent firming trend in house prices," Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS, said.

But it also said that the number of available homes had reportedly fallen to its lowest level since the 1970s, another sign Britain's housebuilding crisis is deepening.

Read more: "Just move out of London" - one mortgage site's solution to Generation Rent's affordability crisis

Earlier this week, Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of measures to boost housing supply in his Autumn Statement. This included 135,000 new affordable shared ownership homes, as well as the release of public sector land which has capacity for 160,000 homes.

"The annual rate of house price growth has fluctuated in a fairly narrow range between 3 per cent and 4 per cent over the past six months, which is broadly consistent with earnings growth over the longer term," Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said.

"While this bodes well for a sustainable increase in housing market activity in the period ahead, much will depend on whether building activity can keep pace with increasing demand."

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