Annual house prices growth in England and Wales falls to lowest for seven years
Average house prices in England and Wales increased by 0.3% in December and are now just 0.6% higher than the same month in 2017, according to the latest index to be published.
It was the lowest annual growth for seven years, taking the average price of a home to £306,647 and sales also fell, down by 2.4% year on year, the data from the Your Move index also shows.
Overall the market continues to be flat, the index report says, but regional and local variations are becoming increasingly marked. Annual growth in the North West and East and West Midlands is outpacing inflation, while the South East, the East and Greater London are all struggling to maintain growth at all.
The strongest annual price growth was in Wales and the East Midlands, both up by 3.6%, to an average of £188,052 and £217,901 respectively. Month on month prices increased by 0.8% in Wales but were unchanged in the East Midlands.
Prices increased by 3.3% annually in the West Midlands to £226,833 but fell by 0.2% month on month, while in the North West they increased by 2.7% year on year to £195,819and increased by 0.8% month on month.
They rose by 1% year on year on the North West and the South West to an average of £160,502 and £288,799 respectively and were up month on month by 0.4% in the North West but were flat on a monthly basis in the South West.
Month on month prices fell by 0.2% in both the South East and the East of England to an average of £373,237 and £328,701 respectively and year on year they increased by 0.5% and 0.1%.
Greater London was the only place to see negative annual growth with prices down by 0.3% year on year but up 1% month on month to an average of £624,434. The index report says that London is the market most obviously affected by political uncertainty.
But a breakdown of the figures shows that overall the average is heavily influenced by big falls in a few key boroughs at the top of the market. For example, Kensington and Chelsea, the most expensive, has seen prices drop more than a fifth in the last 12 months, down 21.2% from £2.25 million to £1.77 million while the City of Westminster has seen prices fall by 24.8% from £1.93 million to £1.45 million.
Sales for the three-month period to the end of November 2018 in London increased by 4% compared to the same three months in 2017 and Your Move says that is possibly the result of significant numbers of new builds sold in the capital. They are estimated to account for 14% of all sales in Greater London in the 11 months to the end of November.
Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said:
‘Due to current political and economic unrest it is understandable why buyers and sellers may be taking a wait and see approach to the property market.
‘In turn, as demand waivers, it means that property may become more affordable to more people. This should help buyers, and first-time buyers in particular, when they are ready to act.’
Kindly shared by Property Wire