The latest figures extracted from Nationwide’s house price index have shown that in June annual house price growth increased to 5.1% – a slight improvement on the 4.7% seen during May.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “It has become difficult to gauge the underlying pace of demand in recent months, due to the surge in house purchase activity in March ahead of the introduction of Stamp Duty on second homes.
It will therefore be difficult to assess how much of the likely fall back in transactions in the quarters ahead is because buyers brought forward purchases to avoid additional Stamp Duty liabilities, and how much is due to increased economic uncertainty following the referendum result. Gauging the likely impact on house prices will be even more difficult.
Gardner added that it is too early to assess the impact of the referendum vote on the economy, “however, it is encouraging that the labour market had remained robust in recent months, with solid employment growth and the unemployment rate declining to an eleven-year low in April”.
Jeremy Leaf, former RICS chairman and north London estate agent, said: “The figures are surprisingly strong considering they are for the period post the stamp duty increase and pre the outcome of the Referendum.
They show that the market is more resilient than we might have expected. It shows that make-up of buyer interest was a mixture of investors who brought forward buying decisions as well as first-time buyers and existing home movers. The latter groups still see some value in the market and are taking advantage of very low interest rates.”