United Kingdom house prices drop amid Brexit uncertainty

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United Kingdom housing markets reported a 0.7 percent drop in December with price growth falling to 2013 levels due to the UK's "unusually uncertain" economic outlook, Nationwide House Price Index statistics reveal.

The value of a typical home dropped by £1,763 in December alone - the equivalent of £56.87 a day, according to figures from mortgage lender Nationwide.

Annual house price growth slowed sharply at the end of 2018, falling to its weakest level since February 2013, according to a leading index.

The Outer Metropolitan area fell by 1.4 per cent to see house prices fall to £356,531. The rest of the South East stagnated. By contrast, Scotland saw a more modest 0.9% increase, while England saw the smallest rise of just 0.7% over the year.

Northern Ireland was the top performing region, with a 5.8% increase in house prices.

This marks a noticeable slowdown from previous months, where prices had been rising at a c2% pace.

Near term prospects will be heavily dependent on how quickly this uncertainty lifts. The average United Kingdom house price now stands at £212,281.

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Mr Gardner said: "The economic outlook is unusually uncertain".

In London, the average house price in the fourth quarter of 2018 was £466,988 - 0.8 per cent lower than the same period in 2017. "However, if the economy continues to grow at a modest pace, with the unemployment rate and borrowing costs remaining close to current levels, we would expect United Kingdom house prices to rise at a low single-digit pace in 2019". "This more nuanced picture obviously isn't reflected in the headline figures, but as the current political and economic uncertainty continues, could well continue to be the case until such times as more clarity is available".

However, the average price of a Yorkshire home - £157,436, - is still less than half that in the fashionable south-east commuter belt that takes in Reading, Windsor and Maidenhead.

But he added: "This trend was not entirely unexpected as it followed several years of sustained outperformance by the South, which left affordability more stretched in these areas".

EY ITEM Clubs's chief economic advisor Howard Archer warned house prices could tumble in an event of a no deal. That figure was also down 0.7 per cent month-on-month.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the figures are a wake-up call for the housing market.

"Brexit has smashed property market sentiment to smithereens", said Jonathan Samuels, the chief executive of the property lender Octane Capital.

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