Growth in house prices has slowed this month, but remains in double digits, according to the Nationwide House Price Index.
Annual UK house price growth slowed modestly to 12.1 per cent in April, down from 14.3 per cent in March.
Average house prices have risen from £265,312 to £267,620 – up 0.3 per cent month on month after taking account of seasonal effects.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Housing market activity has remained solid with mortgage approvals continuing to run above pre-Covid levels. Demand is being supported by robust labour market conditions, where employment growth has remained strong and the unemployment rate has fallen back to pre-pandemic lows. With the stock of homes on the market still low, this has translated into continued upward pressure on house prices.
The poll, which was based on a survey of 3,000 consumers across the UK, revealed 38 per cent are actively moving or considering moving.
Private renters were the most keen on a move, with 45 per cent looking for new homes, but it was also elevated amongst those living with family (44 per cent) and those owning their own home.
Interestingly there was a split between people owning their property outright (30 per cent) and those owning with a mortgage (42 per cent),
Yet, despite mounting pressure on household finances, the share of people moving or considering a move was higher than during the height of the pandemic in April last year across all tenure types/
In particular, the proportion of people wanting to get a desire to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and looking for access to more outside space has declined substantially – to 12-15 per cent, down from 25-28 per cent in April 2021.
Forecasting the future, Gardner said: “We continue to expect the housing market to slow in the quarters ahead. The squeeze on household incomes is set to intensify with inflation expected to rise further, perhaps reaching double digits in the quarters ahead if global energy prices remain high. Moreover, assuming that labour market conditions remain strong, the Bank of England is likely to raise interest rates further, which will also exert a drag on the market if this feeds through to mortgage rates.”