• Tyrone Skipper

UK house prices rise at slowest rate since 2013

Since the 2013 slowdown, UK house prices have been fluctuating and at this point in time, what we are witnessing is another rate wind-down with data from the Office for National Statistics showing a growth of UK property prices at 1.2 per cent from June to July. This puts the nationwide average house price at approximately £231,422.

On an annual basis, the figure that is visible stands at 3.1 per cent which is down from last month’s growth of 3.2 per cent. It is the lowest annual rate since August 2013’s figure of 3.0 per cent.

By breaking the data down from a regional standpoint, we can see that annual growth of 5.6 per cent in the North West and 4.4 per cent in the South West and West Midlands was offset by a fall of 0.7 per cent in house prices in London. This is in stark contrast to last month’s annual increase of 0.3 per cent in the capital.

However, on a monthly basis, London’s prices shot up to 0.6 per cent, which gives an average property value of £484,926. This figure is in comparison to £231,422 in England after a monthly rise of 1.2 per cent, as well as £157,368 in Wales, where house prices fell 0.2 per cent between June and July.

What’s more, sales volumes on a yearly basis to May in England, Wales and London fell 16.1 per cent, 14.4 per cent, and 25.6 per cent, respectively.

There has been much discussion on this recent turn of events lately, with comments from various sources addressing the perks and problems that this slow rate represents. Yomdel chief executive Andy Soloman thinks that this indicates something positive in the long run and commented: “Not the most positive reading on the face of it with the lowest rate of price growth in nearly five years, but when viewed in a wider market context, the UK property market is putting in a far more resilient performance than previously expected.”

Chrysanthy Pispinis, Post Office Money director added: “The findings this month demonstrate that while some places like London may be cooling, other areas of the country are still showing healthy growth. Recent research conducted by Post Office Money noted… towns within a commutable distance such as Reading and Luton have seen nearly 10 per cent growth over the last year alone due to sustained interest.”

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive also had his own opinion about the trend, saying: “While many will be quick to highlight yet another landmark low in the rate of house price growth the bigger picture is that the market has firmly found its feet and is registering strong annual and monthly price growth.

“Even the London market has dusted itself down to register positive monthly growth and is the only region to see prices remain lower than this time last year.”

Sam Mitchell, chief executive commented: “These latest figures confirm what we already know, that the North-South divide has been turned on its head.

While property prices in the North have a spring in their step, driven by inward investment, thriving regional business hubs and a buoyant jobs market, London price growth is in reverse… many of the transactions going through at the moment are down to sellers accepting offers a fair bit below the asking price. Sellers and agents need to adjust their price expectations if they want to attract buyers.”

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