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House price growth hits a five-year low – Land Registry

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Thu 21 Mar 2019

House price growth hits a five-year low – Land Registry

House price growth hit a five-year low in January 2019, Land Registry data shows.

Its figures revealed that house prices grew 1.7% annually at the start of the year to an average of £228,147, and fell 0.8% on a monthly basis.

The annual figure is down from 2.2% in December 2018 and the lowest rate since June 2013 when growth was at 1.5%.

Northern Ireland and Wales had the highest rate of growth in January at 5.5% and 4.6% respectively, while average prices were down the most in London where they fell by 1.6%.

The Land Registry’s latest data on sales volumes, based on 85% of transactions for November 2018, claimed purchases were up 11.8% annually.

Transactions increased by 7% in England, 15.5% in Scotland and 13.8% in Wales in the year to November 2018.

Commenting on the report, Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “We have grown accustomed to a slow start in the property market following the Christmas period.

“However these figures suggest that the mounting political uncertainty has undoubtedly contributed to the underwhelming low house price growth.

“Many of our branches reported a strong start to the year, as buyers are becoming impatient with ongoing economic and political turmoil.

“It is frustrating that we are still unable to see the light at the end of this Brexit tunnel, however we are still expecting a modest spring bounce.

“This will be aided by pent-up demand from those looking to carry on with business as usual and we fully expect to see a flurry in the market once a deal has been done and a decision has been made – regardless of whatever decision that may be.

“A cut to Stamp Duty rates to the middle to top end of the market would be welcome, but Government clearly only has Brexit on the brain.”

Meanwhile, data from north of the border suggests price growth in Scotland is higher than predicted by the Land Registry.

The Land Registry figures claim prices in Scotland grew by 1.3% year-on-year in January 2019, but figures from Your Move – which models house price data differently based on current trends and historic assumptions – shows average values rose by 3.2% annually during the same month.

This put average prices at £184,324, rather than the £149,036 reported by the Land Registry.

Growth in Scotland was led by a 10.4% annual boost in average prices in Edinburgh to £289,327, said Your Move.

This is echoed by Scottish firm Warners Solicitors & Estate Agents, which said it saw a 27% annual rise in the number of properties coming on to the Edinburgh market last month.

In the three months to January, Warners recorded an annual increase of 50% in the number of properties going under offer.

David Marshall, operations director with Warners Solicitors & Estate Agents, said: “Since the middle of 2018 we have seen a large increase in the number of homes coming on to the market

“This came on the back of two years when the number of properties being listed for sale was severely constrained, so the improvement in supply over the last eight months is welcome news.

“Throughout 2016 and 2017 potential sellers consistently cited a lack of properties for sale as the main factor stopping them putting their own home on to the market.

“As sellers started to take the plunge in the middle of 2018, this led to an increase in the number of properties available on the market in Edinburgh.

“Sellers who had been sitting out waiting for more homes to become available were then tempted to list their own home, further improving supply.

“As a result, the number of homes for sale in Edinburgh today is now roughly 25% higher than it was a year ago.”