Official data shows price growth in the UK increased slightly in November
Property prices in the UK increased by 2.8% in the year to November 2018, up slightly from 2.7% in the 12 months to October 2018, the latest official figures show.
However, a breakdown of the figures from the Land Registry show that the growth is not universal. In England while prices have increased by 2.6% year on year, they have fallen by 0.1% month on month to an average of £247,430.
In Wales prices were up by 5.5% year on year and they also increased month on month, up by 0.2% to an average price of £161,499.
On an annual basis prices in Scotland increased by 2.9% to an average of £150,638, but fell marginally by 0.7% month on month. It means that house price growth in Scotland has been the strongest in the year to November 2018.
On a regional basis the North East of England recorded the biggest monthly price rise, up by 1.2% while Yorkshire and the Humber saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 1.3%.
The West Midlands recorded the greatest annual price rise, up by 4.6% and London saw the largest annual price fall, down by 0.7%, and month on month they were down by 1.2%, to £472,901.
John Goodall, chief executive officer of buy to let specialist Landbay, said that the figures show that Brexit and stamp duty change has had an impact, particularly on the London housing market.
‘Rising prices in the north have helped bridge some of the gap between those in London. Home owners in the capital have been impacted by the upper stamp duty threshold, limiting their ability to move,’ he explained.
‘There’s no escaping the fact that confidence in the market is low due to Brexit and economic uncertainty. However, these figures point to an opportunity for those in a position to buy. The combination of low prices, solid wage growth and attractive borrowing costs often proves to be too difficult to resist,’ he added.
Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, believes that the ongoing political uncertainty is clearly causing some buyers and sellers to take a wait and see approach when it comes to the property market. ‘But a combination of low interest rates and the slowing house price growth we are seeing today should act as a catalyst to encouraging buyers to take action,’ he said.
According to Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC, as prices have now declined for three months, receding from the high of £232,500 in August, if this trend continues, annual house price inflation rate will soon move into negative territory.
‘The price decline in London continues unabated and shows signs of accelerating. Prices dropped by over £5,000 between October and November. The London market has now given up all gains since December 2016 when prices were £472,400,’ he pointed out.
‘London is one of the most internationally dependent parts of the UK, due to economic integration with Europe and the high share of foreign citizens in the labour market, therefore we predicted in our July 2018 market projections that London house prices would underperform any other region,’ he added.
‘It appears clear that Brexit related uncertainty is weighing on the market. In all other regions of the UK, house price inflation remains in positive territory,’ he concluded.