21 Dec House Prices slow but shortage of properties means House Investment is still stromg.

House price inflation is easing up, Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide has reported, but a dearth of homes for sale continues to hamper the market. Almost £7,000 has been added to the cost of the average UK home over the past year, according to the Nationwide index, which showed house prices up 3.7 per cent annually, in November.

The building society welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement plans to build more homes but warned Britain was only building 60 per cent of the 220,000 new properties needed each year.

Nationwide said that has house price inflation looked to have steadied at a lower level this year, in contrast with last year’s double-digit increases.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘The annual rate of house price growth has fluctuated in a fairly narrow range between 3% and 4% over the past six months, which is broadly consistent with earnings growth over the longer term.

‘While this bodes well for a sustainable increase in housing market activity in the period ahead, much will depend on whether building activity can keep pace with increasing demand.

‘Surveyors have continued to report a dearth of properties on the market in recent months, with the number of available homes reportedly at the lowest level since the late 1970s.’

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