House price growth on hold as buyers remain cautious
The official average price of a property in the UK was £230,292 in June, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This was 0.9% higher than a year earlier, unchanged from the previous month.
House price growth was strongest in Wales where prices increased by 4.4% in the year to June 2019, down from 4.6% in the year to May 2019.
The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 2.7% over the year to June 2019, up from a fall of 3.1% in May 2019. The South East and South West also experienced a fall in house prices over the last year, by 0.6% and 0.2% respectively.
The subdued market was blamed on Brexit by some commentators.
Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “Today’s data makes it clear that continued uncertainty as we creep ever closer to leaving the EU without a deal has caused hesitancy in some areas of the property markets.
“Yet, once a firm decision has been made on when the UK will leave the EU and people decide to get on with their lives, we should expect to see a modest uplift in property prices in the new year. For the housing market to thrive however, Boris Johnson must provide some clarity on stamp duty charges.
“Throughout his campaign he teased buyers about the prospect of switching stamp duty liabilities from the house buyer to the seller or abolishing the tax on homes under £500,000 completely. Although Brexit is a priority, the property market needs to be high on Boris’ agenda – and not swept under the carpet once again.”
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, agreed: “The lowest rate of annual house price growth since the Brexit vote demonstrates the detrimental impact that our current political position continues to have over the sentiment of UK buyers and sellers, particularly those in London.”