UK property news: House price growth slowing but remaining stable in September

Express Lifestyle 2 months ago

According to the report, the average property value in the UK is currently £215,352.

London and the South East have seen the demand for property significantly decrease since the 2016 Referendum, impacting both the numbers of properties sold and creating downwards pressure on prices.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist observes that “London was the weakest performing region in Q3, closely followed by the surrounding Outer Metropolitan region, with annual price declines of 1.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.”

By contrast, other regions around the UK are still seeing values rising, albeit at more modest levels than previously.

Robert continues, “Northern Ireland remained the strongest performing home nation in Q3, though annual price growth moderated to 3.4 per cent, from 5.2 per cent in Q2. Wales also saw a slowdown to 2.9 per cent, from 4.2 per cent last quarter. Annual price growth in Scotland remained subdued at 0.8 per cent, up slightly from 0.4 per cent.”

Looking at the headline figures, Robert adds, ““UK annual house price growth almost ground to a halt in September, at just 0.2 per cent.

"This marks the tenth month in a row in which annual price growth has been below 1 per cent. Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty.

"However, the slowdown has centred on business investment – household spending has been more resilient, supported by steady gains in employment and real earnings.”

“The underlying pace of housing market activity has remained broadly stable, with the number of mortgages approved for house purchase continuing within the fairly narrow range prevailing over the past two years.

"Healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs appear to be offsetting the drag from the uncertain economic outlook.”

UK property news: London and the South East have seen the demand for property significantly decrease

Mike Scott, Chief Property Analyst of online estate agent Yopa is circumspect about the performance of the UK property market in the final months of 2019, commenting that “It now seems quite likely that year-on-year house price growth will dip into negative territory in the last quarter of this year, as the Brexit uncertainty continues to subdue market activity.

"However, the economic fundamentals of low unemployment, rising wages, good mortgage availability and low mortgage interest rates are still strong, and we expect a rapid recovery to a more normal level of activity and price growth once the uncertainty is finally resolved.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals is also optimistic, suggesting “When the extension of Brexit was announced there was a spike in activity in the market, which again reiterates the fact that it is uncertainty holding buyers back rather than a lack of interest.

"Once activity starts to increase and buyer confidence returns, which it will, prices will start back on an upward trajectory.”

Likewise, Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance believes that the picture isn’t perhaps as negative as it first seems.

UK property news: According to the report, the average property value in the UK is currently £215,35

He explained: “This is not Armageddon, but what we have seen for many months, which is property prices stabilising meaning a small increase in some areas and a small decrease in others.

"The South East has been hardest hit, but if we cast our minds back to the period between 2013 and 2015, that was the area with the fastest period of growth, so it is a case of rebalancing and returning to a realistic growth pattern for what has been an overinflated area.” 

Gareth concludes, “Is this the new norm, modest growth rather than boom and bust?

"More modest year-on-year growth is more manageable than say 25 per cent, and it will be interesting to see where prices settle after Brexit.”

With less than 30 days to go now until Boris executes his ‘do or die’ manoeuvre, we don’t have long to wait to see if the UK property market will benefit from a late Autumn uplift if he arrives at an agreeable to all denouement, or if values and demand slide further in the event of a Halloween ‘no deal’ departure.

Follow Louisa on Twitter: @louisafletcher

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