Latest house price data – annual growth remains strong

Latest house price data – annual growth remains strong

The latest Land Registry data for March has revealed an annual price rise of 6.7%, taking the average property price in England and Wales to £189,901.

Monthly house prices, by contrast, have fallen by 0.5% since February 2016.

London has witnessed the largest rise in its average property values over the last year, with a 13.6% movement upwards.

London and the East were also the only two regions to see monthly growth, each experiencing a rise of 0.2% on February.

Of all the regions covered by Land Registry data, only the North East experienced an annual price reduction, with values dropping by 0.7% from this time last year.

Slough saw the greatest annual price increase in March, rising by 22.1% to reach an average price of £244,747.

Neath Port Talbot, on the other hand, was the county or unitary authority which witnessed the greatest annual price fall, dropping by 4.3%.

Slough also saw the strongest monthly growth (3.1%), while Redcar and Cleveland saw the biggest fall.

Nationwide’s latest House Price Index has also been released, showing that house prices increased by 0.2% in April.

The average house price, according to their data, is currently £202,435. The Index revealed that, by contrast, annual house price growth has moderated, slowing to 4.9%.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, says this slowdown returns the annual pace of house price growth to the fairly narrow range between 3% and 5% that had been prevailing since the summer of 2015.

Part of the reason for this may be the surge in the number of people buying homes before the introduction of the extra stamp duty on second homes on April 1, which helped to provide a temporary boost to house prices in February and March.

“However, it is possible that the recent pattern of strong employment growth, rising real earnings, low borrowing costs and constrained supply will tilt the demand/supply balance in favour of sellers and exert upward pressure on price growth once again in the quarters ahead,” says Gardner.

The surge in housing market activity driven by George Osborne’s controversial tax reforms were clearly highlighted by Nationwide’s data.

Some 165,400 residential property transactions took place in March, an all-time high, and 11% higher than the previous peak of 149,000 recorded in January 2007.

“House purchase activity is likely to fall in the months ahead given the number of purchasers that brought forward transactions,” Gardner concludes. “The recovery thereafter may also be fairly gradual, especially in the BTL sector, where a wealth of other policy changes, such as the reduction in tax relief for landlords from 2017 are likely to exert an ongoing drag.”

While the outlook is not entirely rosy, house price growth is still very robust and sellers can – as things stand – still expect to receive a fair and realistic price for their home.

As a seller, if you market your property correctly, get it seen by the widest possible audience and prepare yourself for viewings at short notice, your chances of completing a fast, hassle-free house sale are that much higher.