House price inflation continues to slow – ONS

House price inflation slowed in October keeping prices flat on a monthly basis at £217,000, but sales volumes have improved, the Office for National Statistics has said.

The ONS House Price Index for October found that average house prices in the UK increased by 6.9% in the year to October, down from 7% in September and up just 0.1% on a monthly basis.

Sales volumes figures were all down on a yearly basis, albeit only up to August, dropping in all regions. Volumes were down 20.3% in England to 67,396 and fell 10.7% in Northern Ireland to 5,200, 2.8% in Scotland at 8,468 and 11.6% to 3,558 in Wales.

The drop in volumes is a slight improvement on July when levels were down 28.1% in England, 10.7% in Northern Ireland, 9.1% in Scotland and 23.4% in Wales.

The main contribution to the increase in UK house prices came from England, where house prices increased by 7.4% over the year to October, with the average price in England now £233,000.

Wales saw house prices increase by 4.4% over the last 12 months to stand at £147,000. In Scotland, the average price increased by 4.0% over the year to stand at £143,000. The average price in Northern Ireland currently stands at £124,000.

London continues to be the region with the highest average house price at £474,000, followed by the South-East and the East of England which stand at £313,000 and £279,000 respectively. The lowest average price continues to be in the North-East at £125,000.

The East of England is the region which showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 12.3% in the year to October. Growth in the South-East was second highest at 9.1%, followed by London at 7.7%. The lowest annual growth was in the North-East, where prices increased by 2.7% over the year.

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, was slightly more optimistic in response to the figures.

He said: “The property market is creeping gingerly upwards in the final weeks of a tumultuous year.

“As the dust settles on the post-referendum maelstrom, the market’s soft landing has morphed into sedate but steady progress.

“For three months in a row, national price inflation has barely wavered from a solid 7% a year – even if the gulf between regional growth rates remains as huge as ever.

“On the front line, the mood is of cautious optimism. Fired by Britain’s seemingly flame-proof economic fundamentals and bargain interest rates, buyer demand is recovering well.

“Prices are being supported by the acute shortage of supply, but pragmatic sellers are often willing to trim prices in order to seal a deal before the Christmas shutdown.”


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