Average prices in England and Wales, excluding London, see low annual growth

Average prices in England and Wales, excluding Greater London, fell by 0.3% in the 12 months to April 2019, the lowest level since 2013, according to the latest analysis report.

They also fell by 0.8% month on month and 2.4% on a quarterly basis to an average of £253,522, the figures from the London Central Portfolio report show. Sales also fell by 0.3% year on year and were down by 6.5% on a quarterly basis.

But there is a different pattern in the new build market with prices up 3.9% year on year to £304,140, representing a 14.9% premium over existing stock. Sales were also up in this sector with an annual rise of 5.3% but they were down 17.3% on a quarterly basis.

‘Average prices have been on a downward trajectory now for seven consecutive months. Where previously England and Wales had not shown the same signs of Brexit jitters as the capital, it appears that this is no longer the case,’ said Naomi Heaton, LCP chief executive officer.

‘Annual transactions are stuttering with a sizable drop of 6.5% over the quarter and 0.3% annually. These figures will not come as a surprise, with Rightmove recently reporting that 28% of listings have sat on the sales market for more than six months,’ she pointed out.

‘With a common consensus about Brexit appearing to be some way off with the collapse of cross-party talks, there may be little short term improvement to the status quo,’ she added.

In Greater London average prices increased by 2.5% year on year, by 3.7% month on month to an average of £635,815 but sales were down by 4.6% year on year to a level that is 26% lower than at the time of the European Union referendum in June 2016.

In the new build market prices increased by 14.4% to £714,297, representing a 21.8% premium over existing stock. But sales are falling much faster than existing stock, down by 15.2% annually.

‘With no real prospect of an immediate improvement to the economy in the face of Brexit headwinds, it appears that for the time being, buyers are still holding fire until they have a clearer picture of the UK’s direction of travel,’ said Heaton.

In the prime central London market average prices increased by 13.3% on a quarterly basis to £1,930,472. Annual sales were down by 16% but quarter on quarter they increased by 24.7% and the report suggests there was a surge to complete before the UK was originally due to leave the EU at the end of March which did not happen.

New build average prices increased to £2,198,662, a 61.8% premium over existing stock. But sales fell by 18% year on year and in April were just above the record lows seen in the previous two months.

‘It is therefore difficult to tell whether we are seeing the green shoots of a market recovery or a false dawn. Nevertheless, it is indicative of the weight of money waiting to return to the market,’ Heaton said.