UK house price growth slows in 2019
The Office for National Statistics‘ House Price data doesn’t make great reading unless you are a first-time buyer. On an annual basis, house prices are still edging up overall, albeit that the overall annualised increase over the last 12 months is lower than the equivalent rate of increase for last year. The rate of increase is now at its lowest for 6 years.
The average UK house price in January 2019 was £228,000, which is higher than the same time last year, but down 0.8% from December 2018. The average price peaked in August 2018 and is now declining, albeit slowly.
In the past year, average house prices across the UK have risen by just 1.75%. In England, house prices increased by 1.5% over the year to January 2019, with the average price now £245,000. Scotland saw house prices increase by 1.3% over the latest 12 months to stand at £149,000, the slowest growth of the nations. Wales was the top performer, with prices increasing by 4.6% to an average of £160,000; this was driven by strong growth in South Wales as a result of removing the Severn Bridge toll charges. The average price in Northern Ireland is currently £137,000.
In the regions
On a regional basis, London continues to be the region with the highest average house price at £472,000, but London actually showed a reduction in prices, with a fall of 1.6% in the past year. London is followed by the South East and the East of England, which stand at £321,000 (+0.1% for the year) and £288,000 (-0.2% for the year) respectively. Southern England showed falls in average prices of 0.2% in the month of January. The East Midlands and the West Midlands had the strongest growth at 6% and 6.1% respectively.
As expected from the price data, sales volumes were down in the year to July 2018 (the latest data available) in all UK countries. A 17.2% reduction in England was the worst of them all.
All property types showed growth in the year, with detached houses having the strongest growth at 2.9%. Flats and maisonettes showed the weakest performance with a reduction of prices of 0.1% overall for the past year.
What is most concerning is a look at the growth figures for the isolated month of January. The graphic below does show that price changes were negative in many of the regions in the month of January – it even looks cold in England and Wales.
Monthly House Price Changes Across the UK and Ireland – January 2019