LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices rose more than expected in November, according to figures from mortgage lender Nationwide, suggesting next month’s national election was not putting further pressure on the market which remains sluggish.
House prices rose by 0.8% compared with November 2018, the strongest increase since April, Nationwide said on Thursday.
A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a rise of 0.2%.
However, it was the 12th month in a row that annual price growth remained below 1%, compared with gains of about 5% at the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016.
In November alone, house prices rose by 0.5%, compared with a median forecast in the poll for a 0.1% increase.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said Britain’s housing market typically displayed little volatility at the time of elections.
“Rightly or wrongly, for most home buyers, elections are not foremost in their minds while buying or selling their home,” Gardner said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called an election for Dec. 12 in a bid to break the impasse in parliament over Brexit, which has left the economy mired in uncertainty three-and-a-half years after voters decided to leave the European Union.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Jason Neely and Alex Richardson)