Sector - Finance & Legislation

London leads HPI slowdown

The latest House Price Index has been released from the ONS and Land Registry, showing average house prices increased by 1.4% in the year to April, down from 1.6% in March.

While strong growth was seen in Wales, with prices reaching 6.7% up from 3.9% in March 2019 largely due to falling prices, figures in London showed the lowest annual growth putting a hold on overall growth. Prices fell by 1.2% in the capital over the year to April 2019, up from a fall of 2.5% in March 2019.

The latest index shows average house price in England increased by 1.1% over the year to April 2019, down slightly from 1.3% in March 2019. House prices in Scotland increased by 1.6% in the year to April 2019, down from 3.5% in the year to March 2019. While Northern Ireland house prices increased by 3.5% over the year to Q1.

Looking more regionally in the UK, the East Midlands held the highest annual growth, seeing prices increase by 2.9% in the year to April 2019. The North West followed in second place, with prices increasing by 2.6%.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.7% between March and April, compared with a rise of 1.0% in average prices during the same period a year earlier. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK saw a monthly fall of 0.2%.

Paul Stockwell, Chief Commercial Officer, of Gatehouse Bank, commented: “House prices have fallen out of inflation’s slipstream in broad UK terms but price growth in Wales is extremely buoyant at nearly 7% year on year.

“In the month after a postponed Brexit, it’s not just there where the property market has staged a sharp recovery. While Wales nearly doubled its annual growth rate, the North East has come hurtling out of the red, posting a 2% rise year on year, compared with the 0.8% annual slump recorded the previous month.

“However, it’s hard to credit March’s political drama for these surprising shifts. It takes time to sell property and these sales reflect buyers’ much longer term determination to transact.

“Markets in England have bounced back almost across the board, with only one exception. The South East, which is the only region to see an annual fall, while even the worst performing area, London, has bounced back slightly.”

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