Seven-year low for average UK house price growth

The average house price in the UK increased by 0.7% over the year to the end of October 2019 – up to £233,000 – reflecting the lowest growth since September 2012, new figures published by the ONS revealed.

The figure was down from 1.3% in the year to September 2019, and the ONS said there had been a general slowdown in UK house price growth over the past three years – driven mainly by the south and east of England.

Over 2019 alone, the ONS data showed that across the UK, average house prices were up 0.5% in England to £249,000, up 3.3% in Wales to £166,000, up 1.4% in Scotland to £154,000, and up 4.0% in Northern Ireland to £140,000.

Commenting on the latest ONS House Price Index statistics, Bluestone Mortgages managing director, Steve Seal, said: “Rising house prices are good for overall market optimism but bad for buyers. For those borrowers locked out of the mainstream mortgage market, getting on the ladder is not an easy thing to do.

“Nineteen per cent of borrowers who have been refused a mortgage on the high street think that there are no other options for them, according to our latest Specialist Lending Tracker. Specialist lenders exist to serve these growing pools of underserved customers. We need to ensure that as many borrowers as possible are able to access credit to buy a home.”

The new figures showed the annual increase in England was driven by Yorkshire and The Humber, where prices increased by 3.2%.

The ONS also revealed the lowest annual growth to be in London, where prices fell by 1.6% during 2019 to October, and this was followed by the North-East, where prices saw a 1.1% fall.

John Goodall, CEO and co-founder of BTL specialist Landbay, added: “Though another set of poor growth figures is disappointing and a seven-year low is certainly cause for concern, now is the time to look to the future. Boris Johnson’s election victory should pave the way for a stronger UK economy, and thus a healthier housing market, as we break away from political ambiguity.

“The ‘Boris bounce’ is expected to put an end to the recent stalemate in the property market, offering confidence to buyers and sellers alike to make a move. Demand has been humbled by instability, so 2020 should bring an early ‘spring bounce’ as those who have sat on their hands are spurred into action.”

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