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Property prices continue to grow

A growth of property prices in the UK of 1% was recorded during April bringing the annual rate up from 5.1% in March to 5.2% in April, according to figures released by building society Nationwide. The increases bring the average cost of a home in the UK to £193,048, the April increase is the largest monthly increase seen since June 2014.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner pointed out that the increase in prices had occurred in spite of activity in the housing market being quire subdued, with the number of mortgage approvals being 20% lower than the recorded levels seen in the early part of 2014. He went on to suggest that the uncertainty of the outcome of the General Election is having an adverse effect on activity in the housing market.

As part of their review, the Nationwide has also been comparing the housing market here in the UK to the rest of the European Union. He commented that it is often thought that the UK is characterised as being a nation of home owners, but apparently the proportion of the population owning their own home is not particularly high, being in fact at the lower end of the scale. Home ownership in the UK peaked at 73% in 2007 and even that was not high by EU standards. Since that peak, there has been significant growth in the private rental sector.

What is significant is that young adults aged 18 to 34 living with their parents has fallen over the last five years, possibly a reason why the private rental market has increased in that time.

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