House price growth stalls as buyers play ‘wait and see’

Northern Ireand has seen an above average rise in house prices
Northern Ireand has seen an above average rise in house prices

Annual house price growth slowed to a five-year low in August, official figures show.

A “sustained slowdown” in the south and east of England is acting as a drag on UK house price growth, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Land Registry reported.

The report said average house prices across the UK increased by 3.2% in the year to August 2018, down from 3.4% annual growth in July.

It was the lowest annual increase since a 3% uplift in August 2013. The average UK house price stood at £233,000 in August this year.

The report said: “While the annual growth rates of the Midlands and the north of England have remained broadly stable over the past two years, the south and east of England has witnessed a sustained slowdown.”

In London, house prices fell by 0.2% annually in August, following 0% growth in July.

Average house prices in London remain much higher than the rest of the UK, however, at £486,000.

Across England, house prices increased by 2.9% in the year to August, slowing down from 3.3% annual growth in July.

Within England, the East Midlands had particularly strong annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 6.5% in the year to August.

This was followed by the West Midlands (5.1%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (3.7%).

Growth of 6.2% was recorded in Wales, while in Scotland there was a 4.1% uplift.

Prices in Northern Ireland increased by 4.4%.

Estate agent Jeremy Leaf, a past residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said: “Certainly, a clearer regional pattern is emerging as buyers seek better value for money outside London whereas prices in the capital continue to drift down.

“Looking forward, we are starting to see first-time buyers taking advantage of reduced competition from landlords for smaller properties.”