Despite regional spikes August’s house price growth remained flat across the broader market in England and Wales, a house price index has found.
In the latest Your Move figures released today (17 September), annual price increases reportedly held at 1.8 per cent for the third consecutive month. Although this represents a slight increase on May’s 1.7 per cent, it remains significantly down on the growth of 3.8 per cent in January.
The average house price in England and Wales is now £303,199, up £5,300 on last year, as property transactions remained at their lowest number in five years with an estimated 79,900 completed this year.
Regional trends continued to vary, with London showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in July – the centred month for the three-month price range used to calculate August’s figure – closely followed by the West Midlands at 2.9 per cent and the East Midlands at 2.7 per cent.
The South East was reported to have seen the weakest growth, with prices in Slough down 6.6 per cent annually.
Your Move attributed Slough’s performance to a lack of newly build homes in the area, reporting just one new build sale found in Land Registry records between June and August – compared with 43 in the same period last year.
Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “The slower market should help ease the affordability challenge faced by many buyers.
“Even in London, where an average increase was recorded over the month, homes in most boroughs are significantly cheaper in real terms than they were this time last year.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said the figures showed it was difficult to judge the health of the market by looking at house prices alone.
He said: “What is always much more important to us at the sharp end is the fact that the number of transactions are at their lowest level for five years, which is not surprising.
“House prices are being supported by the shortage of stock and the low number of sales which is not only bad for the housing market but bad for the economy.
“Looking forward, although governor Carney’s remarks do not help, we do expect the usual small bounceback in activity as buyers and sellers return from their summer break but no major changes, one way or another.”
Bank of England governor Mark Carney predicted last week house prices could crash under a no-deal Brexit.
Source: FT Adviser