UK house prices have cooled down after a fierce February, which saw buyers rushing to beat the deadline for the new stamp duty surcharge.
“Mortgage lending shot up 47 per Cent as buyers rushed to move before the stamp duty deadline for second properties,” comments John Eastgate, Sales and Marketing Director of OneSavings Bank.
In the wake of that rush in activity, the market began to cool.
New data from the Land Registry shows that prices dipped 0.5 per cent month-on-month, taking the Average House Price in England and Wales to £189,901. This figure, though, remains 6.7 per cent higher than a year ago.
London annual growth, with prices jumping 13.9 per cent, far ahead of all other regions. The average price of property in the capital is £534,785, also significantly higher than the national average. The North East saw the only annual price fall with a downward movement of 0.7 per cent. London and the East experienced the only monthly price rises with a movement of 0.2 per cent. (Yorkshire & the Humber saw the most significant monthly price decrease with a fall of 2.6 per cent.)
“In reality, once the dust settles on the March madness and activity returns to more normal levels, house prices are likely to return to their pattern of sustained increase. Low interest rates will drive demand from both house purchasers and, increasingly, re-mortgagors, while an ongoing shortage of new houses in the UK is holding back supply. Property values may see monthly fluctuations, but these underlying fundamentals are set in stone, and will continue to support prices in the long term.”
Monthly dip in house prices disguises “striking” growth
30th March 2016
A monthly dip in house prices in February 2016 only disguises striking growth across England and Wales. New figures from the Land Registry reveal that property values declined 0.2 per cent month-on-month, but annual price growth reached 6.1 per cent, taking the average house price in England and Wales to £190,275.
“The majority of regions are experiencing striking growth,” says David Brown, CEO of Marsh & Parsons. “In the capital, annual growth has climbed to comfortably double the wider England and Wales average.”
Indeed, the February data for London shows a monthly increase of 0.6 per cent, with annual growth of 13.5 per cent. The average price of property in the capital is £530,368.
The North East saw the only annual price fall with a drop of 3.2 per cent, while the North West experienced the greatest monthly price rise with a movement of 1.8 per cent. The North East also saw the most significant monthly price decrease with a fall of 1.2 per cent.
“There have been a lot of stimulants spurring on the housing market this spring,” adds Brown. “And there’s no denying there’s been a palpable buzz in the air. To beat the April 1st implementation of additional stamp duty, second-home buyers and buy-to-let investors have been frantically pushing through purchase completions as quickly as possible. We’ve had documents collected and delivered by hand across London to solicitors to avoid postal delays, and our teams have been in at the crack of dawn to make sure all parties involved in the transaction are meeting their deadlines.”
“This short-term whirlwind should go some way to balance out the slower sales activity seen at the end of last year,” he adds.
Indeed, the number of property transactions has decreased over the last year, according to the Land Registry. From September 2014 to December 2014 there was an average of 79,237 sales per month. In the same months a year later, the figure was 78,778.
“As buy-to-let investors face yet another blow from the banks, the incredibly strong buyer demand we’re seeing will take the reins, and keep the market on a stable course,” concludes Brown.
English house prices start 2016 at a gallop
26th February 2016
House prices in England and Wales started 2016 at a gallop, the latest Land Registry figures reveal.
The UK housing market continues to face a severe shortage in supply, which helped to push up prices yet again in January 2016. The average house price in England and Wales jumped 2.5 per cent month-on-month to £191,812 – 7.1 per cent higher than they were a year ago.
Hillingdon saw the highest annual price rise of 15.5 per cent as well as the highest monthly rise of 2.4 per cent — the average price in the area now stands at 383,960.
Otherwise, London led the way, with a monthly rise of 2.8 per cent and an annual climb of 13.9 per cent, taking the capital’s average value to £530,409. Kensington and Chelsea remained the most expensive London borough – with an average house price of £1,380,998 – while Camden and Islington were the only places to suffer monthly declines of 0.4 per cent apiece.
Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, comments: “Property prices are galloping out the stalls. But it’s essentially a one-horse race in the house price stakes – and London is winning by several lengths.
“Supply of new homes is the fundamental issue. Hillingdon saw London’s largest price growth – yet our own research shows Hillingdon council approved just 36 per cent of potential new homes in 2015. New homes are the only way to maintain more sustainable price growth – and blinkered planning rules are getting in the way of London’s future.”