Annual house price growth in the UK at its lowest since July 2013

Average house prices in the UK increased by 2.7% in the year to October 2018, down from 3% in September, and down 0.2% month on month, the latest index shows.

It is the lowest annual rate of price growth since July 2013 when it was 2.3%, the latest official data from the Land Registry, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

This takes the average national price to £231,095 and the data also shows that overall, in the past two years there has been a slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the South and East of England.

The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 1.7% over the year to October 2018, up from a fall of 1.8% in the year to September 2018.

The North West recorded the greatest monthly price rise, up by 1.2% while the North East saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 1.9%. The North West also recorded the biggest annual price rise, up by 4.9%.

In London prices have fallen by 0.3% since September 2018, taking the average property value to £473,609. While annual house price growth in London is slowing, it still remains the most expensive place to buy a house, followed by the South East and the East of England, at £327,000 and £295,000 respectively.

The North East continues to have the lowest average price at £128,000 and is the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak

The data also shows that in Wales on average, house prices have fallen by 0.3% since September 2018 and are up 3.8% year on year to an average of £160,874.

In Scotland, the average price increased by 4.4% over the year to stand at £152,000 while the average house price in Northern Ireland currently stands at £135,000, an increase of 4.8% over the year to quarter three.

Chris Sykes, mortgage analyst at Private Finance, pointed out that there are variations within London at present. ‘While outer London house prices have remained relatively resilient over the course of the year, inner London, a hub for both foreign and domestic investment, has been hit hard,’ he said.

‘Punitive measures imposed on buy to let investors combined with the prospect of the UK crashing out of the European Union has dissuaded potential property investors. Central London property prices have witnessed consistent decline over the course of the year, now down by 3% annually,’ he explained.

‘With Brexit uncertainty likely to continue well beyond March 29, UK house prices could be set to weaken nationwide in 2019. However, for first time buyers that have long been priced out of the property market, this ongoing uncertainty marks a time of opportunity, as they gain some respite from soaring house prices,’ he added.

According to Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, tactical buyers are emerging in London and the South East, eager to buy at a discount. ‘Astute buyers are capitalising on a window of opportunity that is likely to close in March, whether the Government’s efforts end in no deal or no Brexit,’ he said.