Which region saw the strongest growth in house prices in 2018?
The West Midlands was last year’s regional house price winner, according to Halifax, recording a robust rise in house prices of 6.5%, compared to 5% in 2017.
The region also boasted the largest cash terms price increase during 2018 – at £12,891.
East Anglia (+4.4%) and the East Midlands (+3.5%) also recorded price increases above the UK average of 2.8%.
All but one region rise
Almost all regions saw a rise in prices last year with only one of 12 regions – the North of England – recording a fall (-0.3%).
However, some gains were minimal. London recorded only a marginal increase in prices (0.9%), which was the weakest gain the capital has seen in seven years of continuous inflation.
Similarly, inflation in the South West fell to just 1%, and the 2% rise in the South East was the weakest in the region for six years.
Despite only nudging up over the year, actual price levels remain comfortably the highest in London, where the average property price is £452,356, nearly double the UK average of £228,512.
Compared to 2009 when the financial crisis reached its peak, prices in the capital are 82.7% higher, comfortably the strongest inflation in the UK.
Paul Smith, economics director at IHS Markit, which produces the Halifax index, said: “Despite a positive backdrop of rising employment and increasing pay levels, 2018 proved to be a subdued year for the UK housing market. With conditions amongst their toughest in recent years, especially in the closely watched regions of southern England, annual price inflation in 2018 subsequently weakened to its lowest since early 2013.
“The slowdown, especially in the second half of the year, seems to have mainly emanated from increasing uncertainty amongst buyers about the economic outlook, with enquiries down and consumer sentiment weakening.
“With the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union remaining unknown, 2019 price developments (and wider macroeconomic performance) remain unusually uncertain and seem inevitably dependent on Brexit developments in the coming months.”
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