North England house price growth remains resilient

House price growth in the North of England is remaining resilient, as national increases in property values slows.

New data from Your Move and Reeds Rains shows that the traditional North-South divide in the England and Wales housing market has been upended. Most recently, price growth has slowed in southern regions, while the North proves more resilient.

Annual house price growth slowed in September 2017, with values slipping 0.1 per cent month-on-month, despite growing 1.3 per cent year-on-year. The average price at the end of September in England and Wales was £297,287, up £3,890 on the same month last year.

In Greater London, prices fell by 0.8 per cent in August to take the average down 0.7 per cent on the same time last year. Outside of London and the South East, annual price growth continues to be 3.3 per cent and in Wales, the market is strengthening, with transactions holding steady.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, says: “Despite slowing price growth, particularly in the southern regions, the North continues to report positive results. The future, however, will rely heavily on stock availability, and with housing clearly on the political agenda, what government support may be offered to those looking to buy and who will ultimately influence market activity.”

Within London, the 11 boroughs in the top third of the market have seen prices fall an average of 2.5 per cent in the last 12 months; the 11 mid-priced boroughs are down 0.8 per cent; and prices in the cheapest third have continued to rise, by 2.7 per cent. The lowest priced 11 accounted for all three boroughs seeing new peak prices in August: Redbridge (up 2.1 per cent in August and 7.3 per cent annually), Croydon (increasing 0.6 per cent monthly and 5.8 per cent annually), and Bexley (2 per cent and 5.1 per cent).

The UK is still seeing solid growth in the East of England, up 4.5 per cent annually, and the South West, up 4 per cent. The North West and East Midlands are also seeing good figures, up 3.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively.

The East of England is still the strongest growing region, helped by strong performance in the likes of Bedfordshire (up 9.3 per cent annually). Growth in the South West has narrowed the gap and includes the two strongest growing areas: Poole, up 10.5 per cent annually, and Bournemouth, up 9.9 per cent. Both coastal areas have benefited from strong sales of detached properties over the summer.


UK house prices cool as East of England heats up

UK house prices are cooling this summer, as the East of England continues to see its property market heat up.

Average values fell for the third month in a row in June 2017, according to the latest figures from LSL Property Services / Acadata, with prices now down £2,358 over the last quarter. More than half the unitary authority areas in England in Wales – 60 out of 108 – reported prices falling over the month. The average price in June was £301,114, down 0.2 per cent on May.

Despite this, the broad trend over the last year remains a modest rise, and prices are still 3.8 oer cent or £11,037 up on this time last year.

The East of England, particularly, continues to show strong annual growth, regaining its top spot among the regions. Prices in the region grew 0.3 per cent over the month and are up 6 per cent annually, driven by strong growth in Norfolk (up 10 per cent), Luton (7 per cent) and Bedfordshire (8 per cent), the last being one of 12 authorities to record a new peak in the month.

The East also has the area that’s seen the greatest increase in transactions over the last two years. Sales in the city of Peterborough for the three moths from March to May are up 31 per cent on the same period in 2015.

The West Midlands, which led growth over the last quarter, has now fallen back into third place, with prices up 4.9 per cent annually, below both the East and the South West. Annual growth in the latter now stands at 5.4 per cent, with Bath and North East Somerset (11.5 per cent), Cornwall (8.1 per cent) and Devon (7.7 per cent) showing particularly strong growth.

Overall, annual price increases in May in England and Wales stood at 4.3 per cent but a North-South divide seems to have re-emerged. Annual growth in the Midlands and South, excluding London, is above average, and the North and Wales are seeing below average growth.

In London, Westminster sets a new peak price, up 19.7 per cent annually to reach £1,865,843.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, says: “Don’t write the market off just yet. We’ve seen three months of falls, but it’s far too early to panic. Mortgage rates are still affordable and the slow down we have seen will already have helped some buyers struggling with affordability. We’re still seeing strong growth in the East and in prime London. We’re also seeing a return to the North-South divide in terms of price growth. In many ways, it feels like we’ve been here before.”


House prices in England and Wales stay subdued in April

15th May 2017

House price growth in England and Wales stayed subdued in April, according to new figures, although prices in the West Midlands raced higher.

Property values edged up just 0.1 per cent for the second month in a row, according to the latest data from LSL Property Services / Acadata. The slowdown in price increases is more evident on a quarterly basis, with prices up 0.5 per cent over three months, despite strong employment figures and record low interest rates. The average house in England and Wales is now worth £301,606, up 3.5 per cent year-on-year.

The West Midlands has cemented its position as the fastest growing region, surpassing the East of England, with prices up 0.5 per cent month-on-month and 6.2 per cent year-on-year. House price growth in London, on the other hand, remains subdued with a monthly decrease of 0.1 per cent.

Annually, the capital is the slowest region outside the North East and sits in penultimate place in terms of annual change with just a 1.4 per cent increase.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “Real transformation is needed to address the housing supply shortage. Recent reports from House of Commons committees have made a strong case for the government to do more. As manifestos are published ahead of the upcoming election, we hope there is commitment to bridging the gap between supply and demand which will stimulate more market activity, stability and enable more people to secure their dream home.”


West Midland leads house price growth

24th April 2017

The West Midlands is leading house price growth for the first time, as Birmingham’s property values hit new peaks.

The average house price in England and Wales rose to £301,278 in March, according to Your Move records, up 0.5 per cent month-on-month and 3.3 per cent annually. The West Midlands has become the region with the highest rate of annual house price growth at 4.8 per cent, but the South East, including Greater London, sees price growth continuing to slow.

This is the first time that the West Midlands has taken the top spot in regional annual price growth since Your Move records began in January 1996, 21 years ago. Birmingham is currently seeing new peak prices, with annual increases of 7.8 per ecnt, assisting the region to gain its number one position. By contrast, Greater London has fallen back into 9th position in terms of regional price change, one place ahead of the North East, which comes in last in the latest figures.

“In England and Wales, house price inflation continues but at a relatively low, though still positive, level. The average annual rate of house price inflation was 3.3 per cent in March, slightly up from the revised 3.1 per cent seen in February. From May 2016 onward, there has been a relatively gentle and almost straightline increase in house prices, despite the Brexit referendum in June 2016,” says Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents.

Indeed, there is “little in the short-to-medium term that will disrupt the market”, adds Blake, with interest rate increases seemingly on hold,
mortgage supply and pricing remaining favourable and consumer confidence strong. In addition, first time buyer numbers are up, not least as a consequence of government schemes and the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“However, with supply still tight, rising house prices remain a problem,” cautions Blake.


Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham lead UK house price growth

13th March 2017

Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham are leading house price growth in the UK.

House prices grew at their fastest pace for 12 months in February 2017, according to the latest index from Your Move, with average prices increasing 0.6 per cent, double the rate in January.

Despite this boost, annual house price inflation continued to fall for the 12th consecutive month, dropping to 2.4 per cent, the lowest annual rate since 2013.

The North West, where prices grew 4.1 per cent annually, is an “increasingly important part of the market”, says the report. Growth in property sales in Greater Manchester over the three years to the end of 2016 rose 36 per cent compared to the previous three months – only marginally above the average for the region as a whole, but six times the sales growth recorded in Greater London. Average prices in the city, meanwhile, are up 7.2 per cent annually.

It’s not just Manchester contributing to the emergence of a Northern Powerhouse. Merseyside set a new peak price in January, with average prices up 0.5 per cent. Heavy demand for apartments in Liverpool from both young professionals and buy to let investors renting to students has seen prices rise in the area by 5 per cent in the last year. Among the other large cities, only Birmingham in the West Midlands set a new peak in the month. Ongoing regeneration of the city centre, good connections by rail and road, and expansion of a number of large employers is giving the city renewed confidence. Prices in the area were up 0.4 per cent monthly and 6.2 per cent on the year.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, says: “It’s an encouraging start to 2017. We’ve seen the strongest house price growth in a year, the emergence of the promised Northern Powerhouse and the first tentative signs of a recovery in our highest priced properties in London.”


Average house price in England and Wales tops £300k

13th February 2017

The average house price in England and Wales has broken the £300,000 barrier for the first time.

The latest LSL Property Services / Acadata house price index shows that the England and Wales market got off to a strong start in 2017, with prices growing 0.3 per cent month-on-month in January. These latest results push the average price of a home in England and Wales up by £1,029 to reach £300,169 – a new high in the market, and the first fresh peak since March last year.

It leaves prices in January almost £10,000 higher than in the same month in 2016, when the average was £291,165. Prices have now doubled since they topped £150,000 in November 2002 – despite the slump following the financial crisis.

Activity in January was also higher than usual for the time of year, with 60,000 transactions. This was lower than the 62,059 in January 2016, but up by more than 2,000 on 2015.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director, Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, welcomes the “confident start” to the year, celebrating the “resilience [that] continues to defy the doubters”.

Indeed, even London had a good December, with prices rising on average for the first time in nine months. Values grew 0.3 per cent, the same as the national average for that month, taking the capital’s average house price to £598,001. That’s largely the result of strong growth in cheaper areas as buyers search for value or affordability. Barking and Dagenham, where average prices of £301,572 are almost half the London average, saw prices rise 13.6 per cent annually.

Every other region of the country has seen prices grow in the last 12 months, led still by the East, where the average price edged up a further 0.1 per cent in the month to finish 7.1 per cent up on last December. The region was supported by strong growth in the last year in Luton (up 10.1 per cent), Thurrock (up 11 per cent) and Southend-on-Sea (up 14.7 per cent), which also saw among the strongest monthly growth at 2.9 per cent.

The strongest annual growth in a unitary authority, however, was in Kingston upon Hull, 2017 City of Culture. Prices in Hull grew 1.5 per cent in December to finish up 16.8 per cent on the year, with the average house price rising by £19,072 to £132,590.


London house prices see biggest dip since 2011

15th July 2016

London house prices saw the biggest month-on-month dip in five years in May 2016, according to new figures.

Average house prices paid in the capital were down 1.4 per cent in May 2016, reveals the latest property index from LSL Property Services – the third successive monthly drop and the biggest in cash terms (£8,400) since May 2011.

Nevertheless, while annual house price growth in Greater London is down from 9.7 per cent last month, it’s still up 7.3 per cent over the year. The fall, meanwhile, occurred before the Brexit vote took place on 23rd June, which suggests that other factors may be at play, although uncertainty has loomed over the market in recent months.

In June, transactions were 13 per cent lower than last year, notes the report, but even this was an improvement on May. Overall transaction levels are recovering after the slump that followed a rush to beat the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties introduced in April. Price falls in the previous three months, likewise, followed significant rises at the start of the year, led by buy-to-let and pied-a-terre properties.

Overall, house prices edged up in June 2016. After three months of falls, including a 0.9 per cent dip in May, average prices in England and Wales saw a modest recovery, up 0.6 per cent. By the end of June, prices were 6 per cent higher than a year ago with the average house sale now £293,444.

Meanwhile, the country has a new hotspot for house price growth: the East of England region, led by commuter towns such as Luton and Thurrock.

“With annual growth of 21 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, these continue to shrug off the uncertainty. And even these trail Slough, in Berkshire. Bolstered by the Crossrail development’s links to central London and a growing local economy, it was again the strongest performing single unitary authority this month, with 21.5% annual growth,” comments Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents.

“Greater London and the South East will remain a big part of the growth story in England and Wales, however,” continues Gill. “Without them annual house price inflation for the remaining regions would be 5.1 per cent. Take out the East of England (boosted by commuters looking for cheaper alternatives outside London) as well, and growth would be just 3.6 per cent. Instead it stands at 6 per cent.”

Brexit, will not be wholly negative, emphasises the report, with interest rates promised by the Bank of England to stave off any slowdown, which could ease affordability and support prices. The fall in sterling has also made London property more attractive to overseas buyers. Prices will also continue to be supported by supply constraints, as the UK is still not building enough homes.

“Finally, a new Prime Minister may also have new ideas for housing,” concludes Gill. “There are, therefore, reasons for optimism.”