Average UK house price falls back from record high – ONS

Annual house price growth slowed to 10.3% in the year to November 2022, the latest UK House Price Index published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has indicated.

The latest figure is down from the 12.4% reported by the ONS in the 12 months to October.

This slowing of growth meant the average UK house price was £295,000 in November, a level £28,000 higher than this time last year but a slight decrease from the previous month’s record high of £296,000.

Recent annual percentage changes in house prices have been volatile because of price volatility across the housing market in 2021. The ONS stated that the October 2022 annual percentage change was high, partly caused by a sharp fall in average house prices in October 2021, as a result of changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax at the time.

The ONS reported that in the year to November, average house prices increased to £315,000 (10.9%) in England, to £220,000 in Wales (10.7%), to £191,000 in Scotland (5.5%) and to £176,000 in Northern Ireland (10.7%).

Figures indicate that Scotland’s annual house price inflation has been slowing since April last year, with the 5.5% growth in the year to November a significant fall from 14.2% in the year to April 2022.

The North West saw the highest annual percentage change in the latest ONS index (13.5%), while London saw the lowest (6.3%) of all English regions.

Commenting on the figures, proposition director at PRIMIS Mortgage Network, Vikki Jefferies, added: “Although today’s statistics show a decline in the rate of house price growth, it’s important to recognise that figures are still on par with pre-pandemic level and remain relatively strong.  

“With rate reductions likely to continue as the new year gets underway and with growing numbers of products returning to market, brokers need to be prepared to help homebuyers and remortgagers make informed choices when it comes to the best product for them. As economic turbulence continues, this involves thinking about future impacts, as well as shorter-term outcomes.

“From a lender’s perspective, there is certainly appetite to lend, and we’re seeing clear creative thinking and enhanced proposition development in order to create flexible products that meet customer needs at this time.

MD of real estate at Shawbrook, Emma Cox, added: “If the economy continues on its positive trajectory into the next quarter, it could signify a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for first-time buyers, but landlords will also need to pay close attention as competition could soon return to the market.

“The seeds of economic improvement quickly spread, and I expect we’ll see many professional landlords working hard to provide a compelling rental offer for tenants in a busy lettings market whilst growing their portfolios with new purchases.”

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