House prices rise 12.1% in April, says Nationwide

This slight slowdown from the 14.3% recorded in March leaves the average house price at £267,620, the lender adds.

This is £28,789 more since April 2021.

On a monthly timescale, house prices rose by 0.3% in April compared to 1.1% in March.

Nationwide also reports that on asking just over 3,000 of its customers aged 16 about their housing plans, 38% said they were either in the process or, or considering, moving house.

Nearly half of those asked in London replied in this manner and the region w. the proportion was lowest – Wales – saw a still-high 25% of people say so.

The lender also asked about housing preferences. If found that, “the proportion of those citing a desire to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life or [gain] access to a garden [or] more outside space has declined substantially – to 12% and 15% respectively, down from 25% and 28% in April 2021.”

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner says that mortgage approvals are still above pre-Covid levels.

He continues: “Demand is being supported by robust labour market conditions, w. employment growth has remained strong and the unemployment rate has fallen back to pre-pandemic lows.

“Nevertheless, it is surprising that conditions have remained so buoyant, given mounting pressure on household budgets which has severely dented consumer confidence. Indeed, consumers’ expectations of their own personal finances over the next twelve months has dropped to levels last seen during the depths of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago

“Moreover, housing affordability has deteriorated because house price growth has been outstripping income growth by a wide margin over the past two years, while more recently borrowing costs have increased (though they remain low by historic standards).”

Hargreaves Lansdown personal finance analyst Sarah Coles adds: “Lockdown savings have been vital in supporting the market. The more time that passes, the more people will find these savings eroded by higher prices. Our research shows that only one third of people haven’t spent any of their lockdown savings, and one in four have spent at least some of them on rising bills.

“Gradually, more and more of these enthusiastic buyers will find they just can’t get the mortgage they need to buy the home they want, and we’re likely to see demand ebb, and price rises slow further as we go through the year.”