ONS UK House Price Index Report confirms the property market’s slowing growth

The latest Office of National Statistics UK House Price Index suggests marginal improvement in property market

The latest Office of National Statistics UK House Price Index Report has confirmed the market’s slowing growth.

In the year to September, average house prices have increased by 3.5%, this is an increase of 0.4% from the 3.1% growth a month earlier.

However, the report indicates a significant slowdown in house price growth over the past two years. This is mainly attributed to the slowdown in the South East and London.

Whilst London’s prices have actually fallen by 0.3% in the year to September, this figure has shrunk from the 0.6% losses reported in the year to August.

The average UK property now costs £233,000; this is an £8,000 increase on the figures from September 2018. House prices remain unchanged from the figures found in August, which is an improvement on the 0.4% decrease found between these months in 2017.

England was restricted to the smallest growth in comparison with the reset of the UK; the 3% increase outperformed by the 4.8% annual increase to September in Northern Ireland and the 5.8% annual increases enjoyed in Wales and Scotland.

Director at Search Acumen, Andy Sommerville said, while reports of a Brexit agreement have resulted in a short-term rally for sterling, a similar boost to the UK property market is unlikely to materialise until well after March 2019.

Andy said uncertainty and lack of confidence has plagued the UK property market since June 2016, deflating both buyers’ ambitions and house prices in the process. Until the UK understands what Brexit truly means, buyers and property investors alike are likely to remain cautious, keeping house prices flat as a result.

He said the prospect of negative house price growth in London once seemed stranger than fiction. However, the city has now experienced 10 months of consecutive decline. The London market, formerly a hub for property investment, is bearing the brunt of the downturn, as appetite amongst foreign investors wanes, and the future of the UK and London in a post-Brexit landscape continues to remain an unknown.

As the year comes to a close and the property market braces itself for the unknown onslaught of Brexit, it is comforting to see a slight upturn in house prices.

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