The latest house price index has been released by the Land Registry showing that annual house price growth in October was at 4.5%, with a marginal decline of -0.5% from September, putting the latest average UK house price at £223,807.
The Land Registry released its house price reports on two-month lag as the data is based on actual property sales completions, rather than mortgage approvals or asking price data on online portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. As a result, it provides the most concrete look at the UK housing market and how it is performing.
Despite the marginal fall in price growth, the market remains in good health, with the level residential property transactions up 9.2% since last October and 1.7% since September. However, while those already on the market look to get a sale over the line ahead of Christmas, the number of new properties coming onto the market fell by -14% following a two-month period of stability, as many sellers chose to wait until the New Year and a renewed level of buyer demand.
Homeowners in the East Midlands have enjoyed the largest annual growth at 7%, followed by the South West (6.7%). With London seeing the largest detrimental impact from current market conditions due to the high price of property, it’s no surprise that the region is home to the lowest level of annual price growth at just 2.1%, followed by the North East (2.4%).
A marginal cool in monthly price growth and one that is almost certainly a minor seasonal frostbite rather than signs of a further market freeze.
While there has been a fall in the number of fresh listings coming on to the market as many now wait until after Christmas before selling, the number of actual transactions has continued to increase at a healthy rate.
This would suggest that it is business as usual for those already going through the process, but sellers are perhaps adjusting their expectations ever so slightly where price is concerned, in order to secure a sale this side of Christmas in tougher market conditions and to a tighter timeline.Russell Quirk