LONDON (Alliance News) – UK house price inflation accelerated slightly at the close of the year, while price growth in London was below the national average for the first time in eight years, survey results from the Nationwide Building Society showed Thursday.

The house price index rose 4.5% year-on-year following a 4.4% increase in November. A year ago as well house price growth was 4.5%.

Compared to the previous month, prices climbed 0.8% in December after remaining flat in the previous month.

The average price of a UK home was GBP205,898 in December versus GBP204,947 in November.

London house prices rose 3.7% year-on-year, which was much less than the 12.2% climb witnessed in 2015. The figure was below the UK average for the first time since 2008.

In the three months to December, UK house prices rose 4.5% annually, which was slower than the 5.4% gain in the previous quarter. East Anglia topped the list for the first time since 2010, with average prices up 10.1% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, price growth in London slowed further to 3.7% from 7.1% in the third quarter. It was the first time since 2010 that the capital did not end the year as the strongest performing region.

“The story of UK house price growth in 2016 was one of relative stability,” Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said.

“There were signs that London’s significant period of outperformance may be drawing to a close,” he said.

Earlier this month, Nationwide predicted that house prices are set to register a small gain of around 2% next year than a decline, since low interest rates are expected to help underpin demand while a shortage of homes on the market will continue to provide support for house prices

“Looking ahead to 2017, house price prospects will depend crucially on developments in the wider economy, around which there is a greater degree of uncertainty than usual,” Gardner said.

Nationwide expects the UK economy to slow modestly next year, damping the labor market and house price growth.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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