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Official: UK house prices fell in January

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20/03/2018
Strong regional differences are masked by average UK figures, but house price growth has slowed overall
Official: UK house prices fell in January

The average property price in the UK in January was £225,621, according to the government’s UK House Price Index – 0.3% lower than December.

The largest annual price growth was recorded in Scotland, where prices increased by 7.3% over the year to January 2018.

Wales saw prices increase by 4.5% over the last 12 months, in England the average price increased by 4.6%, while the average price in Northern Ireland increased by 4.3% over the year to quarter 4 (October to December) 2017.

The government also published sales figures for November 2017, revealing a double-digit annual fall.

The number of property transactions completed in the UK fell by 11.3% when compared with November 2016. Compared with October 2017, sales were down by 6%.

Regional divergence

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, noted some strong regional falls in the data: “While the national rate of price growth is far from weak and is better than it was this time last year, there’s another statistic that that’s grimly familiar,” he explained. “North East England is once again flat last.

“Prices in the North East are stagnating as the region faces up to falling levels of buyer confidence and demand.

“The picture in London is similar, even if years of softening prices at the top end of the market have encouraged more strategic buyers to return to the fold. Despite the shortage of stock, sellers are trimming prices in an effort to woo back domestic buyers, many of whom have been searching for better value beyond the M25.

“Other previously overheated markets have seen sharp price corrections too – with prices in Oxford falling by nearly 5% in the 12 months to January.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of HouseSimple.com, added that there also were positives to be found: “While house prices have gone off the boil in London, the Midlands, the heartland of England, has seen a mini property boom over the past 12 months.

“Kettering, Coventry and Leicester, three local markets rarely flagged up as property hotspots, have seen house prices rise faster than anywhere else in the country.”

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