UK house price growth flat in November: Land Registry

By Gary Adams

Go to the profile of Mortgage Strategy
Jan 17, 2019
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Data from HM Land Registry shows that, in the UK, house prices fell 0.1 per cent from October 2018 to November 2018, translating to a yearly rise of 2.8 per cent.

Towards the end of last year, the average house price in the UK was therefore £230,630.

Looking solely at England, prices fell 0.1 per cent on a monthly basis and grew 2.6 per cent annually, leaving the average property value at £247,430.

Within England, the North East grew at the fastest pace since October 2018, at 1.2 per cent, while at the other end of the scale, values in Yorkshire and the Humber performed worst, falling 1.3 per cent within the same time frame.

In Wales, house prices grew 0.2 per cent monthly and annually, 5.5 per cent, resulting in an average property value of £161,499.

London, meanwhile, saw a dramatic fall of 1.2 per cent on a monthly basis, also registering a fall – this of 0.7 per cent – over the 12 months to November 2018. In the capital, the average price stood at £472,901.

James Pendleton founder director Lucy Pendleton comments: “London is feeling the strain as affordability continues to eclipse lack of supply. This latest episode of the Brexit horror show last night could easily be the straw that breaks its back and increase the capital’s rate of descent.

“In pure growth terms, the North, Midlands, Scotland and Wales are the engines pulling us along at the moment while London rides on its axle. It’s clear that in the South and South East, lack of supply is being overcome to a larger degree by affordability.

“Outside the North East, the price movements we’re seeing are still quite gentle given we are close enough now to feel a no-deal Brexit’s hot breath on our necks. There is no real recovery in site for the capital over the next three months. People have even started talking about playing the market, which for traditional owner-occupiers simply means selling and renting for a while before buying back in. It is possible to make considerable amounts of money doing this but getting the timing right is near impossible, and more a matter of luck than judgement. I wouldn’t do it — and I own an estate agent.”

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “Several lenders, including Barclays and HSBC, have reduced their mortgage rates recently on the back of falling swap rates as they attempt to get business off to a strong start to the year. More lenders are likely to follow suit as funding costs remain low and there is a limited number of potential borrowers out there, as many people put decisions on hold until the Brexit outcome becomes more certain.

“Lenders are likely to continue to chase market share although we may see some pressure on the pricing of high loan-to-value products in light of the ongoing uncertainty.”

Landbay chief executive John Goodall opines: “These figures are likely to be a slight reprieve for ‘Brexit-ed’ out homeowners, unable to face more uncertainty-linked price turbulence. Looking into the detail, rising prices in the north have helped bridge some of the gap between those in London. Homeowners in the capital have been impacted by the upper stamp duty threshold, limiting their ability to move.

“There’s no escaping the fact that confidence in the market is low, bogged down by Brexit and economic uncertainty. However, these figures point to an opportunity for those in a position to buy.”

OkayLah director Paul Telford also offers an upbeat outlook: “While the estate agency sector itself has suffered as a result of this lethargic market activity, there remains an appetite for homeownership and although Theresa May’s deal may have failed to materialise the UK property market is far from Brextinction… those that arm themselves appropriately with the knowledge to do so will find there is life outside of Westminster, as the world keeps turning and people keep on moving.”

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