Finance News

House prices see lowest annual growth in 7 years

Amy Loddington
18th September 2019
BridgeInvest houses Bywater

According to July's figures from the Office for National Statistics and HM Land Registry, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.7% in the year to July 2019, down from 1.4% in June 2019.

This is the lowest annual rate since September 2012, when it was 0.4%. Over the past three years, there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England.

The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices fell by 2.9% over the year to July 2019. This was followed by the South East, where prices fell by 2.0% over the year.

The average UK house price was £233,000 in July 2019. This is £2,000 higher than the same period a year ago (July 2018). On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.5% between June 2019 and July 2019, compared with a rise of 1.2% in average prices during the same period a year earlier (June 2018 and July 2018). On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK decreased by 0.3% between June 2019 and July 2019.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, says:

"There is no confidence in the housing market and no confidence in government. Values are not really down as such - there are just fewer transactions because of the uncertainty over Brexit and therefore a smaller marketplace. Nobody likes uncertainty when it comes to a big decision like buying a home and there is too much of it.

"'Until Brexit is sorted and Boris Johnson has either done a deal or we have a hard Brexit, there is not likely to be much movement. The Band Aid needs to be ripped off and we need to get on with it. There is likely to be some financial stimulus afterwards, whether that is in the form of stamp duty reform, or reduction to business rates, something that will bring confidence and activity back.

"The only people buying and selling are those who have to, with families looking for extra space pushing up the values of semi-detached and terraced houses. Flats are falling in value, meanwhile, as these are more often bought by investors or first-time buyers on single incomes, who are struggling more with affordability."

Managing Director of Benham and Reeves, Anita Mehra, commented:

“London and the South East continue to contribute much of the property price growth decline being registered across the UK, and this is largely driven by the greater reality gap between what buyers are currently willing to pay and the price expected by sellers.

However, considering the current landscape coupled with the seasonal slowdown often seen in the summer months, the market remains in positive territory and continues to defy wider predictions of a collapse.

Despite wider political turbulence, we should see this positive trend persist over the coming months spurred on by the affordability of mortgage products, strong levels of buyer demand and a healthy degree of wage growth.”

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