May 1, 2020 / 6:22 AM / a month ago

UK housing market grinding to a halt after coronavirus lockdown: Nationwide

FILE PHOTO: Estate agent's signs hang from houses in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham, Britain September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s housing market is grinding to halt as a result of the government’s coronavirus lockdown, mortgage lender Nationwide said, adding its ability to carry on producing the price index depended on there being enough transactions.

Nationwide said on Friday its measure of house prices rose by 0.7% in April from March and was 3.7% higher than a year earlier, stronger than forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists in both cases.

But the lender said the impact of the pandemic was not fully captured in April’s figures.

“This is because our index is constructed using mortgage approval data, and there is a lag between mortgage applications being submitted and approved,” it said.

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by James Davey

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