Data released by mortgage lender Nationwide reveals British house prices took a pre-Brexit hit in December, rising by their slowest pace in nearly six years in annual terms. House prices fell by 0.7 per cent from November, the biggest monthly fall since July 2012. Compared with a year earlier, prices rose by only 0.5 per cent in December, the slowest annual rate of growth since February 2013, followed by only 0.5 per cent in December, the slowest annual rate of growth since February 2013, and followed a 1.9 per cent increase in November.
Nationwide said it expected prices to rise at a “low single-digit pace” in 2019 but its forecast was dependent on the economy continuing to grow modestly, something that looked “unusually uncertain”. Britain's housing market has weakened since the June 2016 Brexit vote, led by price falls in London. At the time of the referendum, Nationwide's measure of house prices was rising by about 5 per cent a year. Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of the property lender Octane Capital, says, “Brexit has smashed property market sentiment to smithereens.”
He said, “Borrowing rates may be low and the jobs market strong but a deep undercurrent of uncertainty is causing the vast majority of people to sit on their hands. What growth there is, is in the north, which hasn't experienced the over exuberant price inflation of the capital and other areas of the south.” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said last month that in the event of a “disorderly” departure from the EU, not the central bank's base-case scenario, house prices could slump by 30 per cent as part of a broader economic shock.