UK house price inflation was the highest in 18 months in February, survey data from the Nationwide Building Society showed on Friday.
The house price index rose 2.3 percent year-on-year after a 1.9 percent increase in January. The figure was in line with economists’ expectations.
The latest house price inflation was the highest since July 2018, when it was 2.5 percent.
The average house price rose to GBP 216,092 from GBP 215,897 in the previous month.
“While overall economic growth ground to a halt in the final three months of 2019, labor market conditions remained buoyant and borrowing costs low,” Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said. “The decisive election outcome may have provided a boost to buyer sentiment.”
On a month-on-month basis, house prices rose 0.3 percent after a 0.5 percent increase in January. Economists had expected a 0.4 percent climb.
On a three months-on-three months basis, house prices rose 1 percent in February.
Citing recent business surveys, Gardner said these suggest economic activity recovered in the New Year. That said, there are still significant uncertainties that threaten to exert a drag on the economy in the coming quarters, the economist added.
“The global economic backdrop remains challenging, with the coronavirus outbreak expected to weigh on global activity in the coming quarters,” Gardner said.
“Investment is likely to remain subdued until the UK’s future global trading relationships become clearer, which is unlikely until early next year.”
Nationwide expects the UK economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat.
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