U.K. house prices took a sharp tumble in November, falling by the most since the height of the pandemic, according to Nationwide Buliding Society. The latest survey, released Thursday, showed annual house prices slowing to 4.4%, from 7.2% in October. A monthly fall of 1.4% was the biggest since June 2020, following a 0.9% fall in October.
“While financial market conditions have stabilized, interest rates for new mortgages remain elevated and the market has lost a significant degree of momentum. Housing affordability for potential buyers and home movers has become much more stretched at a time when household finances are already under pressure from high inflation,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, in a press release. Gardner said house prices are likely to remain subdued in coming quarters, as inflation stays elevated and further U.K. interest rate hikes look to be on the cards. He said household balance sheets remain in good shape at least for now, but affordability is becoming more stretched. The average house price in November was £263,788 ($319,044) down from £268,282 ($324,380) in October.