Official: Scotland records strongest house price growth in the UK
Average house prices in the UK increased by 5.2% in the year to December 2017, up from 5% in the year to November 2017.
Prices inched up 0.4% in December, taking the average UK property price to £226,756.
Scotland saw the largest annual price growth in the UK, with house prices up 7.7% over the year to December, while Wales recorded an increase of 5.4% over the same period.
In England, the average price increased by 5% over the year, and 4.3% in Northern Ireland (over the year to quarter four of 2017).
The South West of England (7.5%), East Midlands and West Midlands (both 6.3%) all saw strong growth in prices in the 12 months to December.
At 2.5%, London showed the slowest annual growth of all UK regions, though this is up from 2% in the previous month.
This is the 13th consecutive month where the annual growth in London has remained below the UK average.
Sales and supply down
The UK Property Transaction Statistics for December 2017 showed that the number of sales of residential properties with a value of £40,000 or greater decreased by 0.1% in the year to December 2017. Between November 2017 and December 2017, transactions fell by 3.9%.
On the supply side, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported their net balance for new instructions remained negative for the 24th consecutive month. Stock levels reported by estate agents remained broadly stable; still close to historic lows.
Ishaan Malhi, CEO of online mortgage broker Trussle, said: “By the end of 2017, the average house cost £12,000 more than it did in December 2016. The shortage of homes for sale has kept the property market competitive.
“If you’re looking to buy in the coming months, it’s worth keeping an eye on the mortgage market. The cost of borrowing is expected to rise as certain bank subsidies fade away and interest rates climb.
“In such an environment, locking in a competitive five-year fixed deal will keep your repayments stable for the next few years while the country comes to terms with an increasingly uncertain economic future.”