UK house prices ‘little changed’ in November as London holds growth back

House prices edged up by 2.8% in the year to November according to official figures, as sales are put on hold while uncertainty over Brexit continues.

Across the UK, the average house price stood at £231,000 in November 2018, figures released jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Land Registry and other bodies show.

Average house prices across the UK fell by 0.1% between October and November.

In England, annual house price growth is being driven by the Midlands as London property values continue to fall back.

ONS head of inflation Mike Hardie said: “House price growth was little changed in the year to November with buoyant growth across much of the UK held back by London and the South East.”

Commenting on today’s house price figures, Head of Inflation Mike Hardie said

— ONS (@ONS) January 16, 2019

Over the past two years, there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the South and East of England.

The study said a recent Bank of England report said that that along with low supply of houses, demand was also falling.

Housing activity in southern England was muted due to uncertainty, with transactions postponed until after the European Union withdrawal, it said.

London was the region with the lowest annual house price growth, decreasing by 0.7%.

The annual increase in England (2.6%) was driven by the West Midlands (4.6%) and the East Midlands (4.4%)

— ONS (@ONS) January 16, 2019

The ONS/Land Registry figures show that, within England, the West Midlands showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 4.6% in the year to November. This was followed by the East Midlands (4.4%).

The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 0.7% over the year to November, unchanged from October.

London house prices have been falling annually each month since July 2018.

But London remains the most expensive place typically to purchase a property in the UK, at an average of £473,000.

With house prices standing at £132,000 on average, the North East of England is the only English region where house prices are yet to surpass their pre-economic downturn peak.

#LandRegistry/#ONS reported #UK #house #prices edged down 0.1% month-on-month in November, which was a third successive monthly fall. The annual rate of increase edged up to 2.8% in November from 2.7% in October, which had been the weakest year-on-year increase since July 2013

— Howard Archer (@HowardArcherUK) January 16, 2019

House prices across England generally grew at a slower annual rate than other countries of the UK, increasing by 2.6% in the year to November to reach £247,000 on average.

House prices in Wales increased by 5.5% annually to reach £161,000 typically.

In Scotland, the average price increased by 2.9% over the year to stand at £151,000 on average.

The average house price in Northern Ireland was £135,000, an increase of 4.8% over the year.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said the figures “maintain our view that the housing market is currently subdued with heightened uncertainties focused on Brexit seemingly having some impact”.

He continued: “Caution over making house purchases is likely being magnified by heightened uncertainties over Brexit.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “On the ground, we are finding that we are in a price-sensitive, needs-driven market, especially at this time of year, which continues to be underpinned by low mortgage and unemployment rates, improving affordability and stock shortages.

“As a result, we recorded better-than-expected viewings and valuations in early January, despite the Brexit uncertainty.

“On the one hand, the risk of uncertainty for the property market increases after yesterday’s vote but on the other, it helps to concentrate minds on all sides.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Several lenders, including Barclays and HSBC, have reduced their mortgage rates recently on the back of falling swap rates as they attempt to get business off to a strong start to the year.

“More lenders are likely to follow suit as funding costs remain low and there is a limited number of potential borrowers out there, as many people put decisions on hold until the Brexit outcome becomes more certain.

“Lenders are likely to continue to chase market share although we may see some pressure on the pricing of high loan-to-value products in light of the ongoing uncertainty.

“Borrowers needing a mortgage in the next six months may want to consider securing a product now, just in case rates do rise.”