Latest data released by UK Nationwide Building Society - 30 October 2020

  • Prior +0.9%
  • House prices +5.8% vs +5.2% y/y expected
  • Prior +5.0%

Data released slightly earlier than expected via the source. Despite the UK economy losing momentum towards the end of Q3, the housing market remains robust to start Q4 though there will be more uncertainty to the overall outlook moving forward.

Tighter virus restrictions and the drag to the economy could still weigh on the housing market towards the year-end. Nationwide notes that:

"... housing market activity has remained robust. Mortgage approvals for house purchase climbed to 91,500 in September - the highest level since 2007.

"The outlook remains highly uncertain and will depend heavily on how the pandemic and the measures to contain it evolve as well as the efficacy of policy measures implemented to limit the damage to the wider economy. Behavioural shifts as a result of Covid-19 may provide support for housing market activity, while the stamp duty holiday will continue to provide a near term boost by bringing purchases forward.

"However, activity is likely to slow in the coming quarters, perhaps sharply, if the labour market weakens as most analysts expect, especially once the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March.