Official: UK house prices fell 0.8% in January
Average house prices in the UK decreased by 0.8% between December 2018 and January 2019, according to the UK House Price Index, the official measure of property prices from the Office for National Statistics.
Over the year to January 2019 house prices in the UK rose by a modest 1.7% to an average £228,000. The rate of growth is down from 2.2% in December 2018, and the lowest annual rate since June 2013 when it was 1.5%.
Over the past two and a half years, there has been a slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England.
The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 1.6% over the year to January 2019, down from a decrease of 0.7% in December 2018. This was followed by the East of England where prices fell 0.2% over the year.
The average house price in England is £245,000, an increase of 1.5% over the year to January 2019. House prices in Scotland grew at a slower rate than other countries of the UK, increasing by 1.3% in the year to January 2019, to £149,000.
House price growth was strongest in Wales, increasing by 4.6% in the year to January 2019 with the average house price at £160,000.
Northern Ireland house prices increased by 5.5% over the year to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018. Northern Ireland remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in, with the average house price at £137,000.
The East Midlands experienced the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 4.4% in the year to January 2019. This was followed by the West Midlands (4.0%).
The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 1.6% over the year to January 2019, down from a fall of 0.7% in December 2018. This was followed by the East of England where prices fell 0.2% over the year, its first fall over the year since October 2011.
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “The national pace of price growth is being weighed down by the irresistible gravitational pull of London’s falling prices.
“The sheer scale of the decline in London prices – which fell by almost as much as the UK average rose – is having a distorting effect on the national picture. But the capital’s decline is no longer just an outlier. Average prices are now falling across Southern England as a whole, and in East Anglia, where the modest 0.2% fall is a painful reversal of fortune for a region which only a couple of years ago was a star performer.
“Elsewhere there was a marked slowdown in price rises in Scotland, and an easing of price growth in the Midlands, which have been the best-performing region for the past 18 months.
“However price rises accelerated in Northern England and Wales, two markets that offer both strong value and the greatest degree of insulation from Brexit uncertainty.”