UK house prices: average property values increasing at weakest rate in six years as Brexit uncertainty rumbles on
House prices in the UK rose at their slowest rate since April 2013, the latest figures show, with experts warning of falls of up to five per cent in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Halifax house price index showed property values rose by just 1.1 per cent year-on-year to September, the slowest annual growth rate in more than six years.
House prices fell by 0.4 per cent on a monthly basis to reach £232,574.
The news of slowing national growth comes as experts warned it was “tin hat time” in the London property market as house prices falls picked up pace in the capital. The latest figures from Nationwide showed the average home in London had seen just over £5,000 wiped off its value in the three months to September as Brexit uncertainty intensified in the UK’s most expensive region.
£232,574: the average house price in the UK after annual price growth slowed to 1.1 per cent (Daniel Lynch)
Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said: “Annual house price growth slowed somewhat in September, rising by just 1.1 per cent over the last year.
“Whilst this is lowest level of growth since April 2013, it remains in keeping with the predominantly flat trend we’ve seen in recent months.
“Underlying market indicators, including completed sales and mortgages approvals, continue to be broadly stable.
“Meanwhile for buyers, important affordability measures — such as wage growth and interest rates — still look favourable.
“Looking ahead, we expect activity levels and price growth to remain subdued while the current period of economic uncertainty persists.”
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said: “With the economy largely struggling and the outlook highly uncertain, we suspect that house prices will remain soft in the near term at least.
“Consequently, we expect house prices to only rise around 1.0 per cent on most measures over 2019.”
He continued: “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31 — or at a later date — we believe house prices could quickly drop around five per cent amid heightened uncertainty and weakened economic activity.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Transaction numbers are low so lenders are having to work incredibly hard to generate business and stand out from the competition.
“This means even further cutting of fixed-rate mortgages, while those lenders who can’t compete on price are having to tweak criteria and be more flexible than perhaps they might have been in the past.”