House prices rose 1.1% in October, the Nationwide’s survey showed yesterday but many saw the unexpectedly strong monthly gain as an anomaly among signs of a marked slowdown in the housing market. Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian
The month-on-month rise was the biggest since June, taking the annual rate of price growth from 9% to 9.7%. It followed a gain of 0.7% in September’s survey.
The pound strengthened after the survey’s release and economists said the surprise gain would strengthen the arguments for the Bank of England to keep interest rates on hold until clearer signs emerged that the economy was slowing.
The building society said that the increase, after several months of slowing prices, was unlikely to be the start of a new upward trend.
Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Surveyors are reporting the weakest levels of new buyer inquiries in many years and mortgage approvals are falling . . . amid weaker demand and tighter lending criteria for riskier borrowers.”