This morning the Government released their new official UK house price index for the month of April, detailing a monthly price increase of +0.6%.
According to the Government, the average UK house price is now £209,054 as a result of an annual increase of +8.2%.
Both London and England have not only seen an annual rise, but also a monthly rise since March 2016. This takes the average house price in England to £224,731 and London to £470,025, with a detached property in London now selling on average from a huge £854,209 up 12% over the course of the year.
The same, however, cannot be said for Wales as house prices fell by -1.9% since March 2016, but despite this, over the past year, house prices show an annual increase of 1.7% making their property value £139,385.
Despite the excitement around the first release of this new official government house price index, it hasn’t really told us anything we don’t already know, rather confirmed the property outlook portrayed by Nationwide and Halifax in previous indices.
With house prices having increased pretty much right across the board, the artificial spike as a result of April’s stamp duty deadline is now abundantly clear. Although this is a direct result of the second home and buy to let markets, regular homeowners considering a sale should have taken the chance to cash in as it’s likely they will have now missed the boat.
This latest index has also recorded a 45.2% decrease in property sales during the month of April. With this previous heightened demand all but falling off the face of the earth, the knock-on effect will almost certainly be a drop in property values. Because of this decrease in demand for UK property over the month of April, it is more than likely that the next month’s house price index will show prices have taken a hit and dropped as a direct result of April’s stamp duty aftermath.
However, I don’t believe the market will slow as much as forecasted over the coming months. Yes, prices look set to cool but the average UK house price is still at its highest level year on year, so there is still a lot for the average UK homeowner to be pleased about.Russell Quirk