House prices fall fifth consecutive month

Nationwide reveal that the market is unlikely to ‘regain much momentum in the near term’.

Property prices have fallen for the fifth consecutive month in January, the most extended successive period since 2009. Nationwide reveal that the average price of a house is now £258,297, down by 0.6% from December.

The housing market is slowing in accordance with our house price predictions for the next five years, with property prices seeing a continuous decline as a result of inflation, increased mortgage rates, and the cost of living pinch.

Those looking to buy a house or sell a house ought to be clued up with ample property advice on what’s to come in regard to the housing market. Here’s what you need to know.

Figures published by Nationwide this week reveal that the average price of a house is now £258,297, down by 0.6% compared to December 2022. This has left prices 3.2% lower than their peak in August 2022.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, warns that the market is unlikely to ‘regain much momentum in the near term.’

He continues, ‘There are some encouraging signs that mortgage rates are normalising, it is too early to tell whether activity in the housing market has started to recover.’

Following the fall in house prices in December 2022, buyers and sellers should still exercise caution as we progress throughout 2023 as Halifax had previously forecasted that house prices would ‘fall around 8% over the course of the year.’

It’s not a surprise that all regions nationwide have seen the housing market slow in recent months, but some areas in the UK are experiencing it heavier than others.

Nationwide reveal that East Anglia stands as the most affected region in the three months to December 2022, with the growth of property prices down 6.6% compared to 11.2% in the previous quarter.

In the West Midlands house price growth is down 6.1% from 12%, with the East Midlands down 5.3% from 12.3%.

In contrast, Scotland is the least affected region, with growth down 3.3% from 7.8%.

Given the circumstances and recent data revealed, the lingering question of ‘Is now a good time to buy a house?‘ may pose your curiosities.

Following Nationwide’s most recent affordability report, they explain that ‘should recent reductions in mortgage rates continue, this should help improve the affordability position for potential buyers.’

Despite this, Robert Gardner at Nationwide warns that ‘the overall affordability situation looks set to remain challenging in the near term’ as ‘saving for a deposit is proving a struggle for many given the rising cost of living,’ albeit, not impossible when following the right advice.