Property 

House prices grow at lowest rate in 7 years

House prices grow at lowest rate in 7 years

UK house price growth has hit its lowest annual rate in seven years – increasing by just 0.6 per cent in the year to February 2019.

The latest House Price Index from ONS and HM Land Registry shows the average UK house price was £226,000 in February, £1,000 higher than in the same month a year ago.

The year-on-year growth of 0.6 per cent is down from 1.7 per cent in January 2019, and is the lowest annual rate since September 2012 when it was 0.4 per cent.

The UK housing market has experienced a slump in the past two years, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average UK house decreased by 0.8 per cent between January 2019 and February 2019, compared with an increase of 0.3 per cent during the same period a year earlier. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average UK house prices decreased by 0.4 per cent between January 2019 and February 2019, according to the index.

Meanwhile the average house price in England increased by 0.4 per cent year-on-year in February 2019 to £243,000, down from 1.4 per cent in January 2019 while house prices in Scotland fell by 0.2 per cent to an average of £146,000, down from a rise of 2.4 per cent in the year to January 2019.

House price growth was strongest in Wales, increasing by 4.1 per cent to an average price of £160,000.

In London prices fell 3.8 per cent year-on-year in February 2019 to an average of £460,000, down from a decrease of 2.2 per cent in January 2019.

This was followed by the south east where prices fell 1.8 per cent to an average of £316,000 over the year.

But London remains the most expensive place to purchase a property, followed by the south east and the east of England, where the average house price stands at £290,000.

The north east continues to have the lowest average house price at £125,000 and is the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak, according to the index.

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: "While house price growth is often closely affected by wider market conditions, the mortgage market remains resilient and is working hard to keep up with consumer demand.

"Lenders continue to offer increasingly competitive fixed-rate mortgages and we’re also seeing a rise in the number of high loan-to-value products, helping both those looking to move onto and up the property ladder."

Research out yesterday (April 16) showed more providers are currently competing in the 95 per cent loan to value market than ever before.

The latest figures from Moneyfacts showed 60 providers now included a 95 per cent LTV product in their residential mortgage range. This was up from 53 providers in April of last year and was 13 more lenders than in 2014.