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Frances Traynor's picture

UK house prices still rising but more slowly

Thu, 13 Apr 2017



This article refers to a recent Home Buyers Survey.

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There was mixed news in April’s UK house price figures from Halifax. The average price of a UK house increased by 5.8 percent in the year to February 2017, up from 5.3 percent in the year to January. But those February figures are still well below the 7.3 percent average annual house price growth seen across the UK in 2016.

What that means in practical terms is that an average house now costs £217,502. However, the rise in house prices in the year to February is the slowest since May 2013, according to the Halifax’s own stats.

That’s good news for buyers, a little less enjoyable reading for sellers.

The Halifax figures, along with analysis from the Nationwide that showed the first fall in house prices – albeit only by 0.3 percent – since June 2015, are perhaps an indication that the UK housing market is beginning to cool down.

However, figures from both the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML), also released this week, suggest home-buying activity is still increasing and house price inflation very much on the up, if at a slightly decreased level.

The Halifax’s monthly statement revealed that prices in England rose by 5.8 percent, in Scotland by 3.1 percent, in Wales by 1.8 percent and by a mighty 5.7 percent in Northern Ireland. That puts the average cost of a house in England at £234,466; it’s now £139,000 in Scotland; £145,293 in Wales; £125,000 in Northern Ireland.

Central London feels the tiny pinch

While the cost of buying in London continues to be prohibitively high for many, there are some signs that the capital’s property is not hitting the same expensive highs. Figures released on April 13 from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed that house prices in central London rose at their slowest pace in almost five years, with the increased tax on second homes and concerns over the effects of Brexit cited as factors in the slowdown.

Greater demand than supply also continues to inhibit the market, according to the RICS’ chief economist Simon Rubinsohn, who said: "High-end sale properties in central London remain under pressure, while the wider residential market continues to be underpinned by a lack of stock."

Negotiating the sales process effectively

If you're a buyer who has found a property you're keen on, your next step is likely to be arranging to have a survey carried out to ensure the property is in good condition. Surveyor Local can connect you to the best professional advice through our nationwide panel of chartered surveyors, all of whom are members of the RICS.

Our friendly and professional sales team can guide you through the process and give you the information on what survey best suits your needs. Call us now on 0800 038 6667 or click below for an instant, free quote.

Click for more information, or to arrange a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey.