House prices increased by 0.3% in January, the Nationwide Building Society has stated.
The UK’s largest building society said that annual house price growth was broadly stable at 4.4%.
It calculated that the average house price in January was £196,82.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The pace of UK house price growth remained broadly stable during January. Indeed, annual house price growth has remained in a fairly narrow range between 3% and 5% since the summer of 2015. This trend was maintained in January, with house prices up 4.4% over the year, broadly in line with the 4.5% increase recorded in December.
“As we look ahead, the risks are skewed towards a modest acceleration in house price growth, at least at the national level. The labour market appears to have significant forward momentum. Employment has continued to rise at a robust rate in recent months and, while the pace of earnings growth has slowed somewhat, in inflation-adjusted terms regular wages continue to rise at a healthy pace.
“With this trend expected to continue and with interest rates also likely to stay on hold for longer than previously anticipated, the demand for homes is likely to strengthen in the months ahead.
“The concern remains that construction activity will lag behind strengthening demand, putting upward pressure on house prices and eventually reducing affordability. Indeed, the market is already characterised by a shortage of stock, with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reporting that the number of properties on estate agents’ books remains close to all-time lows.”