U.K. Housing Stays on `Subdued' Trend as Prices Fall in May

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. house prices fell in May and the market is likely to continue on a “subdued” trend for the foreseeable future, according to Nationwide Building Society.

The lender said values based on its index declined 0.2 percent on the month. From a year earlier, they were up 2.4 percent, down from 2.6 percent in April.

U.K. home-price growth has cooled in the past few years. That’s likely to continue as economic growth slows this year and Brexit clouds the horizon. London has seen a sharper slowdown after prices almost doubled over the past decade, and weakness there is forecast to continue.

“There are few signs of an imminent change,” said Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner. “Surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries, while the supply of properties on the market remains more of a trickle than a torrent.”

Read more: London house prices to decline for another three years

Gardner’s view tallies with other reports, including the monthly survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Its national house-price balance is at its lowest in more than five years and the gauge of new buyer inquiries -- a proxy for demand -- has been below zero for more than a year.

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