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Official: House prices fell in the year to January to £281,913

Official: House prices fell in the year to January to £281,913
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Average UK house prices decreased by 0.6% in the 12 months to January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This was up from a decrease of 2.2% in the 12 months to December 2023.

The average UK property in January was £281,913, around £2,000 less than a year earlier. Despite the annual dip, prices rose between December and January by 0.5%.

Nations and regions

In the 12 months to January 2024, average house prices fell by 1.5% in England to £299,000, by 0.8% in Wales to £213,000, and increased by 4.8% in Scotland to £190,000. Average house prices increased by 1.4% to £178,000 in the year to quarter four of 2023 in Northern Ireland.

Of the English regions, annual house price inflation was highest in the North West, where prices increased by 1% in the 12 months to January 2024. London saw the greatest fall in prices, which decreased by 3.9% in the 12 months to January 2024.

Nick Leeming, chair of Jackson-Stops, said: “Today’s figures show that, despite a subdued start to the year and extended winter lull, buyers and sellers are both demonstrating confidence in the market by recommitting to their searches.

“Across the Jackson-Stops network, in February we saw an uplift month-on-month in appraisals, listings and exchanges, as well as a consistent number of prospective buyer enquiries year-on-year.

“Whilst affordability challenges do remain, with mortgage rates teetering up slightly in recent weeks and competitive deals staying on the market for just a matter of days, the mid-market and where committed buyers can press ahead with purchases is accelerating at pace.”

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “Since the start of the year, buyer enthusiasm has been tested by small mortgage rate rises. There are early signs that it has stood up to the test, with more buyers coming back in February too.

“There’s also the hope that, with inflation coming in lower than expected today and the Bank of England expecting to hold rates where they are, we could see mortgage rates hold steady, and eventually start to drop again towards the summer.

“These are uncertain times, though. We can’t be certain how the property market will deal with the weakness we’re expecting to creep into the jobs market, and while we’re out of a recession, we can’t make any bold assumptions about economic growth. It means that while it may be a tempting time to get back into the property market, it will be essential not to over-stretch yourself.”

Related: Official: UK house prices fell to £285,000 in 2023