UK house price fall after 16 monthly rises in a row

Taylor Scott International News

UK house prices fell by 0.2% in September, following 16 consecutive monthly price rises but the picture on a quarterly basis is still relatively strong. However, the data from the Nationwide house price index for September clearly shows that the price growth is slowing. It also means that the annual pace of house price growth has fallen to 9.4% from 11% in August. It means the average price of a home is now £188,374 and in the UK as whole, prices are around 2% above their pre-crisis peak. Excluding London they are less than 1% above their 2007 peak. ‘While September saw a slowing in house price growth, the picture on a quarterly basis for July, August and September combined was still relatively strong, with all 13 UK regions recording annual price gains,’ said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist. ‘There remains significant regional variation however, with the South of England still seeing the strongest rates of growth,’ he added. Gardner said that price growth may soften further in the final quarter of the year, given the high base for comparison from the fourth quarter of 2013. ‘However, the outlook remains uncertain. There have been tentative signs from surveyors and estate agents that buyer demand may be starting to moderate, but the low level of interest rates and strong labour market suggest that underlying demand is likely to remain robust,’ he explained. Nationwide also released its quarterly index for the three months to September which shows that overall prices increased by 1.5%. London is still the most expensive region in the UK with Northern Ireland the cheapest. Prices were up 10.5% compared with the same quarter of 2013 and London did see a slight softening in the annual pace of price growth from 25.8% in the second quarter to 21%. Prices in the capital are now 31% above their 2007 peak, with the price of a typical London property just above £400,000. Annual price growth in Wales slowed from 9.3% to 5.0% while annual price growth in Scotland was similar to last quarter at 5.2%. Northern Ireland saw a 10.2% increase in prices, although they are still nearly 50% below their 2007 peak. Amongst the English regions, the South continued to outperform, with double digit annual growth rates recorded in London, Outer Metropolitan, Outer South East and East Anglia. The North was the weakest English region, with prices up 4.3% over the year. David Newnes, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, said that momentum is needed to keep the market going, especially outside of London. ‘Higher LTV lending and the Help to Buy scheme are vital tools to keep firs -time buyers active in areas of the country where the recovery is vulnerable,’ he explained. ‘In London, which sped off of the blocks at the start of the year, the market is composing itself after an energetic few months and we’ve seen house price inflation start to ease back,’ he added. He also warned about the effect of a proposed Mansion… Continue reading →

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