House prices fall 0.3%

Robyn Ashman

March 20, 2018

The UK saw house prices dip by 0.3% on a month-on-month basis in January, the latest figures from the ONS have shown.

The average price of a house now stands at £226,000, up 4.9% on January 2017, but when looked at on a shorter term house price growth is down 5% compared to December 2017.

On an individual basis Scotland was the biggest winner this month reporting an increase of 7.3% to reach an average price of £153,000.

Wales was up 4.5% to £153,000 whilst the average price in Northern Ireland was £130,000, an increase of 4.3% over the year.

Looking at England alone the East Midlands recorded the highest annual house price growth – up 7.3%. The lowest annual growth was in the North East of England at just 0.7%.

London saw a rise of 2.1% to an average house price £486,000.

Jeff Knight, director of marketing at Foundation Home Loans, said: “Despite predictions interest rates will double this year and ongoing political uncertainty delaying potential sellers, on the surface it seems like prices are holding.

“Yes, London prices may be cooling and the Chancellor’s latest figures suggested some 60,000 first-time buyers have now avoided paying stamp duty, but that doesn’t change the fact we are facing a continued lack of property available for sale.

“Not only is this another hurdle for younger buyers, but ‘second-steppers’ looking to upgrade their homes are being met with sky-high prices and limited choice.

“A call on developers to build and councils to release land will help, but ultimately we need the supply gap to be sorted sooner rather than later.”

Paul Osborn, chief executive for Foresters Friendly Society, added: “For most households, achieving home ownership is not just a top saving priority but the ultimate goal.

“However, sky high prices, limited choice and competition to secure mortgage finances can often leave first-time buyers wondering if they will ever be able to attain the dream of home ownership.”

“Getting your financial know-how sorted on the savings products available early on can really help maximise your savings potential when you need it most. With a 25% boost to annual savings, younger savers who take-up the Lifetime ISA can bring that goal closer by saving useful amounts towards a home deposit.”

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