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April 4

by Millie Wickens
No southern comfort as London house prices fall

According to the latest official data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) house price growth is slowing down.

The price of an average UK house increased by 1.7 per cent in the year to January – a 0.5 per cent fall from December’s rate of 2.2 per cent.

The data from the ONS is on trend as house price growth across the country has slowed over the past 30 months.

The current figure is the lowest rate since June 2013, when the annual increase was 1.5 per cent.

“There has been a slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England,” says the ONS report.

“The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 1.6 per cent over the year to January 2019, down from a decrease of 0.7 per cent in December 2018. This was followed by the East of England where prices fell 0.2 per cent over the year.

The value of an average home in the UK is £228,000; this is £4,000 more than a year ago but below the peak of £232,000 recorded in August last year.

Nationally, the figures vary. Homes in England cost an average £245,000; this is up 1.5 per cent in the year to January, but down 0.4 per cent from 1.9 per cent in December.

Prices were strongest in Wales, up an annual 4.6 per cent to an average £160,000, but in Scotland, their value was the softest – rising 1.3 per cent in the year, but down 0.7 per cent from December. The average house price is £145,000.

“House prices in Wales continue to be driven by strong house price growth in the south east of the country, likely linked to the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls,” said the ONS report.

In England, a slowdown in London, the South-East and the East of England is holding price increases back, explained the report.

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