House Price Growth – April 2019

The Office for National Statistics have recently released the House Price data for April 2019. Over the past three years, there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England. 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 the previous year. The average UK house price in April 2019 was £229,000, which is up on the same time last year, but down on August 2018 when the average house price peaked at £232,000.

In the past year, average house prices across the UK have risen by just 1.4%, half of that was in April. In England house prices increased by 1.1% over the year to April 2019, with the average price now £245,000. Scotland saw house prices increase by 1.6% over the latest 12 months to stand at £151,000. Wales was the top performer, with prices increasing by 3.9% to an average of £164,000; this was driven by a combination of strong growth in March and April and the fact that prices were actually falling 12 months earlier, which was probably linked to the move from Stamp Duty Land Tax to Land Transaction Tax in Wales in April 2018.

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 1.2% in the past year, albeit that there was an increase in the month of April as the graphic shows. London is followed by the South East and the East of England, which stand at £319,000 (-0.8% for the year) and £289,000 (+0.2% for the year) respectively.

Northern Ireland and Wales had the strongest annual growth at 6.7% and 3.6% respectively. The biggest annual increase in England was East Midlands at 2.9%, but the North East had a 5% increase for April alone (2% annually, so we will see if this was a blip next time). The average price being paid by a first time buyer increased in the year to April by 1%.

Property Type

In regards to property type, all property types except flats and maisonettes showed growth in the year; detached houses had the strongest growth at 2.7%. Flats and maisonettes showed the weakest performance, with a reduction of prices of 1.6% overall for the past year. As mentioned last time, there has been some coverage in the press about the effect of the tax changes for buy to let owners starting to reduce prices in this area of the market, as investors are beginning to see how the changes affect them individually.

Monthly House Price Changes Across the UK and Ireland – April 2019

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This article featured in issue 13 of our construction and real estate newsletter series. Read the full newsletter here: Real Estate Matters – Issue 13