PropertyAug 14 2017

House price growth slumps to four-year low

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House price growth slumps to four-year low

House price inflation has dropped to a four-year low amid a slowdown in transactions, according to Your Move.

Prices dipped by 0.2 per cent in July, taking the annual rate of growth across England and Wales to 2.9 per cent - the lowest since July 2013.

It marks the fourth successive month in which prices have fallen, taking the average house price in England and Wales to £298,906.

Transactions in July dropped by an estimated 9 per cent compared to the previous month, partly due to seasonal factors.

Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said: “Annual prices are still rising positively and regions continue to perform strongly - despite the slowdown in transaction numbers over the summer months.

“Whilst, as a business, we often see this at this time of year, the cause of the dip may also be down to the buy-to-let slowdown as a result of tax changes.”

London and the east of England continued to grow strongly year-on-year, with prices up 2.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively, as first-time buyers looked to more affordable areas of the capital and cities outside the commuter belt.

Your Move said there was growing evidence of a re-emerging north-south divide in the property market, with Wales (0.2 per cent), the North East (1.1 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (1.5 per cent) all witnessing weak annual growth.

The latest Halifax House Price Index also showed house price inflation hit a four-year low in July after prices dropped form the fourth successive quarter.

Daniel Bailey, principal at Derbyshire-based Middleton Finance, said he was not overly concerned by the latest news of a dip in prices.

He said: “I think it is a seasonal thing, and I think it is a regional thing. In the Sheffield area, the market is still holding up very well. There is still a lack of good stock in the market and a lot of buyers chasing very similar properties. In some situations, clients are paying above the asking price.

“A lot of my buy-to-let investors are still just taking their time to see how they move forward with it. Professional landlords are starting to come back to the market, and I am seeing them buying more properties.”