The latest release of government house price data from the Land Registry for April 2017 (released in June) shows that monthly house price growth between March and April was up by 1.6%, despite many other industry sources showing a slowdown in the market.
On an annual basis house prices across the UK are also up by 5.6% bringing the new average UK house price to £220,094. Although the market certainly seems healthy on the face of it the land registry did record a fall in transactional volume as both buyer and seller demand fell, hardly surprising in a month where we saw a snap election called for just a month or so later.
About the Land Registry House Price Index
The index is released on a three-month lag because it records price paid data and therefore portrays a more concrete picture of what is happening in the market, unlike some of the more current indices which base their numbers on mortgage approvals and not completed sales.
The main sources of price paid data used in the UK HPI are HM Land Registry for England and Wales, Registers of Scotland and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Stamp Duty Land Tax data for the Northern Ireland Residential property prices index (RPPI).
Annual price change for UK by country over the past five years
Sales volumes for 2013 to 2017 by country: February 2017
“The latest government data seems to portray a healthier market than other industry sources on the surface, with the monthly rate of growth bucking the downward trends seen in the previous month to climb 1.6%.
That said, transactional volume was down on a month on month basis and it is reported that both buyer and seller demand dwindled, no doubt a knee-jerk reaction to the news of a snap election.
Although the events of the last year, particularly the changing political landscape, do not seem to have had a long-lasting detrimental impact on the UK property market, they have certainly stunted the rate of price growth.
Many UK homeowners, and buyers for that matter, would have been waiting for the election outcome to provide an air of stability in which to conduct their transaction. The reality, for the immediate future at least, will not provide that and it is likely that the unpredictable swings in house price growth seen over the last few months will now persist for a while longer.”Russell Quirk