Nationwide Building Society

  1. Coronavirus: Building society to trial early openings

    PA Media

    East Midlands branches of Nationwide will be among more than 100 trialling new branch opening times during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Nationwide Building Society

    The UK's biggest building society said it's bringing in the new times to help the elderly and vulnerable manage their money, with the selected branches opening from 08.00 instead of the usual 09:00 from 18 March.

    The branches in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham are all part of the scheme.

    If the trial is seen as an effective way of providing support to people aged 70 and above and those with underlying health conditions, it could be extended to the rest of its 650 branches.

  2. House prices rise at fastest rate for 18 months

    Row of terraced houses

    According to the building society Nationwide, UK annual house price growth increased at the fastest rate for 18 months in February.

    It increase from 1.9% last month to 2.3%, the strongest rate seen since July 2018. The cost of the average home now stands at £216,092.

    Analysts said that the housing market ground to a halt late last year, but after a decisive general election result things are picking back up.

    Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said: "Mortgage approvals in December were likely to have been lifted by increased confidence and reduced uncertainties following the decisive general election result.

    "Mortgage approvals for house purchases had earlier fallen back for three successive months to be at a seven-month low in October, indicating that activity was being pressurised by heightened uncertainties over the domestic political situation and Brexit."

    But he added: "While we suspect that the housing market may get a further near-term boost from reduced uncertainties, we remain relatively cautious over housing market prospects over the whole of 2020 and suspect that the upside will likely be limited."

  3. Annual house price growth 'hits 18-month high'

    Front door key

    UK house prices are growing at their fastest pace for 18 months, according to the latest survey from the Nationwide building society.

    Prices grew at an annual pace of 2.3% in February, up from 1.9% in January.

    Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said that the "decisive election outcome may have provided a boost to buyer sentiment".

    “Recent data releases indicate that the housing market has gathered momentum in recent months and the latest house price figures are in line with that trend.

    "The number of residential property transactions and mortgages approved for house purchase increased around the turn of the year and surveyors have reported an increase in new buyer enquiries."

    However, he warned that there were "still significant uncertainties that threaten to exert a drag on the economy in the coming quarters".

    These include the coronavirus outbreak, which is expected to hit global activity this year.

    "Overall, we expect the UK economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat in 2020 as a whole," he said.

  4. Annual house price growth hits 14-month high

    Home for sale sign

    Annual house price growth jumped to a 14-month high in January, according to Nationwide.

    Across the UK, property prices were 1.9% higher than a year earlier, marking the strongest annual growth since November 2018.

    The average UK home is worth £215,897 in January, the building society said, up 0.5% from December.

    Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said: "Economic growth appeared to grind to a halt as 2019 drew to a close, though business surveys point to a pick-up at the start of the new year.

    "The underlying pace of housing market activity has remained broadly stable, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase continuing within the fairly narrow range prevailing over the past two years.

    "Much will continue to depend on how quickly uncertainty about the UK's future trading relationships lifts, as well as the outlook for global growth."

    He added that the Nationwide expects house prices to remain "broadly flat" over the next 12 months.