Asking prices largely flat in UK in first month of 2018

Asking prices in the UK remained flat in the first month of 2018, up by 0.1% month on month in England and Wales and down by 0.8% in Scotland, the latest index shows.

On an annual basis asking prices are now 2.7% higher in England and Wales at an average of £304,785 and 1.4% higher in Scotland. But when the Welsh figures are taken alone the annual growth is the highest nationwide at 4.3%.

The figures from the index also show that in Greater London annual price growth has now fallen for 14 months in a row with January seeing a fall of 0.9%, the only part of the country to record negative year on year growth. But month on month there was a 0.3% rise.

Overall the North West of England and Yorkshire recorded lower marketing times and the best price performance for many years with gains of 4.1% and 5.1% year on year respectively. There was also strong annual growth in the West Midlands at 5.7% and the East Midlands at 6.5%.

Month on month the market was pretty much flat. There was no change in asking prices in the North West and the West Midlands, while asking prices fell by 0.5% in the East of England.

Average asking prices rose month on month by 0.1% in the South East, by 0.2% in the South West, by 0.3% in Yorkshire and the Humber, by 0.4% in the East Midlands and by 0.6% in the North East.

According to Doug Shephard, director, the slowdown that originated in London has spread to the adjacent regions of the East of England and the South East. However, there are no indications, so far, that the same is likely in other English regions or Wales in 2018.

‘On the contrary, the Midlands and the North are currently enjoying steady price growth whilst falling marketing times show that demand is strong. Unlike the strong pace of price rises previously observed in London and the Home Counties, the growth observed in the North and Midlands is, for the time being, more moderate and therefore appears more sustainable,’ he said.

‘The overall property market dynamic is characterised by a balance between growth in the North and Midlands and the slowly deflating London market. Moreover, we expect the slowdowns to persist in the South East and East of England but their lower growth will be fairly neutral with regard to the national figures,’ he explained.

‘Owing to this push-pull dynamic of the North and Midlands versus London, the apparent stagflation in the national growth figures that characterised much of 2017 looks set to persist into 2018,’ he added.