Wednesday 19 June 2019 11:12 am

London property market drags down UK house prices


Chief City reporter covering banking, insurance, deals and exchanges. Email stories to seb.mccarthy@cityam.com

Chief City reporter covering banking, insurance, deals and exchanges. Email stories to seb.mccarthy@cityam.com

UK house prices were dragged down by subdued demand in London last month, as buyer caution continued to linger in the capital during April.

London witnessed the lowest annual growth out of any region, with prices falling by 1.2 per cent over the year to April 2019, up from a fall of 2.5 per cent in March 2019.

Read more: Prices near record high for new homes on the market

Prices across the UK rose an unadjusted 0.7 per cent month-on-month in April, which was the first rise in eight months, with the average property standing at £229,000, according to the data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

“The ONS data do little to change the overall impression that the housing market is still finding life challenging as buyer caution amid still relatively challenging conditions is being reinforced by Brexit, political and economic uncertainties – although there are significant variations across regions with the overall picture being dragged down by the weakness in London and the South East,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor at the EY ITEM Club.

While London house prices fell over the year, the area remains the most expensive place to purchase a property at an average of £472,000, followed by the South East and the East of England, at £319,000 and £289,000 respectively.

South East England also witnessed a 0.8 per cent drop during April, marking the first time house prices in the region have been dropping annually since October 2011.

Read more: Property transactions dip during April

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Once again, we are seeing house prices in London acting as a drag on a market which is softening anyway. Prices continue to be supported by lack of stock, improving affordability and almost record low mortgage rates and unemployment.”

He added: “Overall, despite renewed interest from buyers there are too many sellers still wedded to the idea that prices will increase perhaps when Brexit is resolved and/or some political stability returns. The reality is that only those sellers who are realistic enough to recognise new market conditions are proving successful.”

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