Annual house price increased by 1.4% in 2019, according to a new study by Nationwide Building Society.
The study announced the average house price now stands at £215,282 as it increased by 0.1%. The number of first time buyers also reached 354,400 in the 12 months to October, compared with 155,000 in 2009 and 12% below the 2006 peak.
Nationwide said it expected prices are to remain “broadly flat” over the coming years.
Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist said: “Indicators of UK economic activity were fairly volatile for much of 2019, but the underlying pace of growth appeared to slow through the year as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty.
“The underlying pace of housing market activity remained broadly stable, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase continuing within the fairly narrow range prevailing over the past two years. Healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs appear to have offset the drag from the uncertain economic outlook.”
The report also announced Scotland was the strongest performing area with prices increasing by 2.8% over the year, for the first time, compared to London, which ended in the “weakest” position with an annual decline of 1.8%.
Gardener added: “Even in the North and Scotland, where property appears most affordable, it would still take someone earning the average wage and saving 15% of their take-home pay each month more than five years to save a 20% deposit.
“In Wales and Northern Ireland, it would take prospective buyers nearly seven years, and almost eight years for people living in the West Midlands. Reflecting the trend in overall house prices, the deposit challenge is most daunting in the South of England, where it would take an average earner almost a decade to amass a 20% deposit.”