The latest Land Registry house price index has been released showing positive growth for UK property both annually and on a monthly basis.
The data for September is based on property sale completions and provides the most concrete look at how the UK property market has performed heading into the winter months.
Although it has been a turbulent time for UK property, house prices have still increased 0.4% since August, up 5.4% on this time last year, making the new average UK house price £226,367.
But despite this positive price growth, uncertainty continues to plague the market, with a -20% fall in buyer demand recorded as many continue to take the “wait and see approach” before committing to a property purchase. But whilst there has been a fall in demand, a lack of property stock continues to stimulate prices and this growth is expected to increase once the market opens back up for business after the quieter winter months.
Even though the UK as a whole has seen a marginal slowdown in buyer activity, there are still pockets that continue to perform well and in turn, have seen above average price growth. Northern Ireland leads the way with a monthly increase of 3%, while in the mainland UK, the North West has also seen extremely strong monthly price growth at 2.1% followed by the Yorkshire and Humber region (+1%). Wales, the East Midlands, the South East and South West have all also enjoyed above average monthly price growth.
Unfortunately for London homeowners, the high price of property continues to see buyers have second thoughts until the future of the UK’s economy is more concrete, with prices down 0.2%, joined by Scotland as the only other region to see a fall at 1.3%.
The market has continued to splutter along, registering yet more marginal positive price growth despite a sustainably lower level of buyer demand. This is certainly promising for those on the ladder and we should see a large degree of stability return with a heightened level of buyer interest come January.
It is yet to be seen what, if any, impact the marginal increase in interest rates will have. It is likely that while many will sit back and see through the Christmas period as a result, there will be no medium to long-term impact on the UK’s appetite to buy property, with the cost of borrowing still very affordable for the masses.Russell Quirk