Property prices: the strongest and weakest areas in the UK
With all the recent political uncertainty over Brexit, the housing market has been through a fairly static period.
Here we take a look at some recent data from house price indexes that shows regional fluctuations - and hear what the property experts have to say about the current market situation.
House price changes across the regions
At the end of the first quarter this year, the Government’s UK House Price Index showed
house price changes for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
February 2019 data showed that in England, house prices have fallen by 0.6% since January 2019. The annual price rise of 0.4% takes the average property value to £242,964.
Looking at this regionally, the North West saw the biggest monthly price rise, up by 1.3%. Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the most significant monthly price decrease, down by 2.5%. The North West saw the highest annual price rise, up by 4.0%.
Finally, London showed the largest annual price fall, down by 3.8%.
The best performing cities
The average cost of a home climbed by just 1.8% in the year to the end of May 2019, according to the latest Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index. The rate of growth was particularly weak across southern regions.
The index shows that house price growth remains stronger in cities where affordability is less overextended.
Glasgow showed the most robust gains last month at 5.1% over the previous twelve months. Liverpool experienced strong growth of 5% during the past year.
Belfast also performed well at 4.6% with Nottingham and Leicester both at 4.5%.
The worst performing cities
In Aberdeen, property values are now 4.2% lower than they were in May last year.
Growth subsided in Cambridge where prices fell by 0.5% and in London, they decreased by 0.4%.
Meanwhile, in Oxford and Portsmouth growth was subdued with property prices just 0.5% higher year-on-year. In Southampton, they rose by only 0.8%.
Affordability dynamics in the different cities and the effect of successive tax changes since 2015 were two of the reasons Zoopla felt were responsible for this diverse range of house price growth.
Property market analysis from the experts
According to Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, “Brexit is undoubtedly causing uncertainty in the housing market, which in turn affects sentiment and decision-making. With details of the final deal still unknown, we’re seeing both buyers and sellers putting their plans on hold. Once the details are clearer, we’ll have a degree of certainty which may trigger a flurry of activity.”
David Blake of Which? Mortgage Advisers commented: “I’m sure many people are waiting until we know more about whether the UK will leave with a deal, but this could go on a while and it’s tough putting your life on hold for an unknown. Recent price drops in some regions mean that it’s becoming more of a buyers’ market, so you might be able to get a good deal. Besides, buying a property should generally be regarded as a long-term investment and, even if there is a short-term price drop, house prices will probably stabilise in the future.”
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