The latest figures from the Land Registry House Price Index show that house prices across the UK have jumped 4.4% over the last year, making the average property price £225,047. Despite the minimal drop of -0.1% month on month, house prices are still on the rise.
Annual price growth
Monthly price growth
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), new buyer demand has dropped for the 11th consecutive month. This is likely a result of low stock from lack selling as new instructions fell to a record low, and despite 63,910 mortgages being getting approved in February 2018, it is still a drop of 3,200 from the month before.
Both Midland regions top the list for highest annual increase – the West Midlands (7.3%) and the East Midlands (6.3%), with average house prices of £192,648 and £186,071, respectively. The West Midlands was also one of the highest performers month on month with a 2.2% growth rate, only second behind the North East’s 3.1% monthly increase.
On the other side of the coin, prices in Scotland experienced a monthly drop of -2.7%. It is not surprisingly followed by London, where prices continue to dive with a -1% annual drop and a -2.1% monthly decrease, putting the average house price in the capital to £471,986. This is the lowest annual growth in London since September 2009 when it was negative 3.2%. London has shown a general slowdown in its annual growth rate since mid 2016.
Although a number of regions suffered monthly falls in price growth, all of them but London rose annually and prices have already begun to gain more momentum as we enter into the traditonally busiest time of the year for property sales.
The buyer status shows an annual increase of 4% for first-time buyers and of 4.6% for former homeowners. The price for new build homes has increase to £286,985, with a monthly rise of 2.7% and an annual increase of 9.1%, while the price of existing properties sits at £221,850 – enjoying a slight month rise of 0.4% and an annual jump of 4.5%.
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It would seem UK home seller trepidation is still impacting the market to some extent and the resulting lack of diverse housing stock on the market is ironically subduing buyer demand in the process. That said, the slow in market conditions seems to be coming to an end and other more current industry indicators are showing that the market is returning to full health.
There is still an appetite for homeownership and as we come to the end of a long tunnel of Brexit uncertainty and political instability, this hunger will only grow larger. Unfortunately for homeowners in the capital, the tunnel is a little longer than elsewhere and while homeowners in other regions of the UK are enjoying a return to strong price growth trends, the London market remains slow out of the blocks in 2018.Russell Quirk