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‘Unexpected’ uptick in house price growth due to supply shortage

House prices in Britain grew more strongly than expected in January, thanks to a lack of supply in the property market which has kept competition between buyers high.

Annual growth is up 3.2pc this month, compared with 2.6pc in December, Nationwide said.

The mortgage lender said the acceleration in annual house price growth was “a little surprising”, given signs of modest growth in the property sector over the past few months. It warned, however, that wider activity in the market remains “subdued”.

Nationwide’s house price index showed a 0.6pc increase in average prices over the month, with the average property price now standing at £211,756, up from £211,156 the previous month.

Robert Gardner, the building society’s chief economist, said: “Activity has been subdued on both the demand and supply side of the market. The flow of properties coming onto estate agents’ books has been more of trickle than a torrent for some time now and the lack of supply is likely to be the key factor providing support to house prices.”

Nationwide’s figures surpass forecasts by Reuters’ economists, which pointed to an annual increase of 2.5pc and a monthly rise of 0.2pc.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/house-prices/unexpected-uptick-house-price-growth-due-supply-shortage/

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