U.K. home prices slightly up despite Brexit

U.K. house-price growth rose slightly in August, a British lender’s data showed on Wednesday, defying earlier signs that the housing market may be cooling after the country’s decision to leave the European Union.

Whether house prices hold up in the aftermath of the referendum matters to the overall health of the world’s fifth-biggest economy. Over the past three decades, U.K. households have cut spending every time that house prices have fallen.

Prices rose by 0.6% in August compared with the previous month, Nationwide Building Society said, a slight increase from July’s monthly growth rate. Compared with August last year, house prices grew by 5.6%.

“The pick up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that housing market activity has slowed in recent months,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.

“However, the decline in demand appears to have been matched by weakness on the supply side of the market,” Mr. Gardner said.

Earlier this week, the Bank of England said the number of new mortgages approved in the U.K. fell in July to the lowest level in a year a half, signaling that the market may have cooled a little in the immediate aftermath of the EU vote.

Source: MarketWatch