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UK house prices fall at sharpest rate for 14 years – Nationwide

UK house prices fell at their sharpest pace for 14 years in July, according to new figures released by Swindon-based building society Nationwide.

The lender said average house prices were down 3.9 per cent – the biggest drop since July 2009.

The average price of a home in the UK fell around £13,000 to £260,828 – 4.5 per cent lower than its August 2022 peak.

Meanwhile, mortgage costs hit their highest level for 15 years. And the mutual said that despite the fall in prices, higher mortgage rates made getting on or moving up the housing ladder even more unaffordable.

Chief economist Robert Gardner said that based on a six per cent mortgage a first-time buyer on an average wage, who had saved a 20 per cent deposit, would see mortgage payments account for 43 per cent of their take-home pay.

Last year homeowners would be spending just over a third (32 per cent) of their take-home wage servicing their mortgage.

“This challenging affordability picture helps to explain why housing market activity has been subdued in recent months,” he said.

“There were 86,000 completed housing transactions in June, 15 per cent below the levels prevailing the same time last year and around 10 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

“More timely mortgage approval data showed a slight increase in activity in June, though most of these applications will pre-date the more recent rise in longer-term interest rates.

“Moreover, activity is still around 20 per cent below 2019 levels.”

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