Finance News

Annual house price growth falls to 4.5% as London market cools: ONS

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12th December 2017
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"East Midlands and South West have still got their dancing shoes on, while the traditional trailblazer London continues to lag behind and has been cooling at below the UK’s average growth rate"

Average house prices in the UK increased by 4.5% in the year to October, down from 4.8% in September 2017, according to the latest ONS house price data.

The average UK house price was £224,000 in October 2017 - £10,000 higher than in October 2016 and £1,000 lower than last month.

The main contribution to the increase in UK house prices came from England, where house prices increased by 4.7% over the year to October 2017.

The East Midlands showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 7.0% in the year to October 2017. This was followed by the South West (6.7%) and the East of England (6.1%).

The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices increased by 2.1% over the year, followed by the North East at 2.4%.

Lucy Pendleton, Founder Director of estate agents James Pendleton, said: “While Britain’s fringes keep on growing apace, the capital’s exhausted housing market has dropped to one knee to catch a breather.

“The East Midlands and South West have still got their dancing shoes on, while the traditional trailblazer London continues to lag behind and has been cooling at below the UK’s average growth rate for nearly a year now.
 
“In fact that slowdown accelerated in the capital in October where homeowners were already being hit over the head by inflation. Londoners are losing money in real terms because inflation is running at 3%.
 
“When the industry talks about the north-south divide, it’s always in the context of the South doing better but not so this year and that trend continues. The economic ripple effect, fuelled by low rates, began in London but is now washing up on the shores of every corner of the UK.
 
“This house price growth was not really being powered by the threat of further rate rises. First-timers and those upsizing are focusing on where they want to be two or three years down the line. Even with deteriorating supply supporting prices, it’s a case of if not now, then when?”

Founder and CEO of eMoov, Russell Quirk, commented: "A marginal cool in monthly price growth and one that is almost certainly a minor seasonal frostbite rather than signs of a further market freeze.

"While there has been a fall in the number of fresh listings coming on to the market as many now wait until after Christmas before selling, the number of actual transactions has continued to increase at a healthy rate.

"This would suggest that it is business as usual for those already going through the process, but sellers are perhaps adjusting their expectations ever so slightly where price is concerned, in order to secure a sale this side of Christmas in tougher market conditions and to a tighter timeline."

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