What’s happening in the housing market?
9 months ago
Despite average prices in England and Wales being lower than they were in January 2017 (and down annually for the first time since March 2012), average prices continue to remain above the £300,000 mark – as they have done throughout 2017. On a monthly basis prices actually edged up in January – the first time they have done so following several months of declines. They increased by 0.2% (£455) to leave the average house in England and Wales worth £301,477.
Nearly three quarters of England and Wales’ 108 unitary authorities outside London were still recording annual price rises in December, with 80 authority areas pushing the overall average up 0.2% over 12 months. In the South East, Portsmouth is up 7.1% annually, and Brighton and Hove set a new peak price in December (one of 18 local authority areas to do so in the month). And, despite falls in some authorities, including Wrexham, Wales continues to see growth of 2.6% over the year, with strong performance from the likes of Ceredigion (up 7%), Caerphilly (6.7%) and Carmarthenshire (5.9%), as well as Newport (5.1%), which like Cardiff (3.6%) set a new peak price in the month. Growth in Wales is almost matched by the East of England (up 2.4%), East Midlands (also 2.4%) and West Midlands (2.3%). It’s the North West (3.8%) and, still, the South West (3.9%) that lead the table, though. In the former, Blackburn with Darwen, up by 9.4% on the back of sales of detached houses, has seen the strongest growth anywhere other than Rutland (up 12.1% but on slim transaction volumes), while the key population centres of Merseyside (up 8.2%) and Greater Manchester (2%) both recorded new peak average prices in the month. In the South West, meanwhile, six out of 15 local authorities recorded a new peak in the month, including Bristol and North Somerset, which have seen some of the strongest annual growth, up 9.1% and 6.7% respectively. Even after this growth, prices in the region remain below the England and Wales average, though, at £285,557. When it comes to transactions, sales across local authorities in Q4 2017 were up 4% on the same period a year ago, with semi-detached sales up 5%, detached and terraced sales up 4%, and sales of flats down 1%, reflecting the significant decline in buy to let activity.
(source LSL house price index January 2018)