Annual house price growth down to 0.6%

Ryan Bembridge

April 17, 2019

House price growth dropped to just 0.6% in the year to February, down from 1.7% in January, the ONS House Price Index has found.

There was a 0.8% house price drop between January and February, with UK prices now averaging at £226,234.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “Today’s ONS figures suggest that the background drone of Brexit is inevitably taking its toll on some pockets of the property market.

“With the majority of would-be sellers still sitting on the fence and buyers now raring to go, this increase in demand and lack of supply is keeping prices up in the North West and the West Midlands in particular.

“We expected average UK prices to remain relatively stable this year, and with ‘Brexit day’ still to be confirmed in our diaries we anticipate a possible upward trend in prices throughout the year.”

Annual price growth stood at 4.1% in Wales and 4.0% in the North West, but fell by 3.8% in London and 1.8% in the South East.

Others seem positive about the state of the market.

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “While house price growth is often closely affected by wider market conditions, the mortgage market remains resilient and is working hard to keep up with consumer demand.

“Lenders continue to offer increasingly competitive fixed-rate mortgages and we’re also seeing a rise in the number of high loan-to-value products, helping both those looking to move onto and up the property ladder.”

And Jeff Knight, marketing director for Foundation Home Loans, said: “While the Brexit delay may not exactly unleash a bottleneck of potential buyers, it will certainly help confidence in the market and we can expect to see activity increase over the next few months – particularly out of London.

“Sellers will be keen to jump on an opportunity to upwardly revise their asking prices as we move towards the Summer months, but there’s a limited window of time before this falters.

“So-called ‘second steppers’ are likely to continue regardless, but for first-time buyers still struggling with limited options, the rental market will remain the long-term choice.”

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