House price growth fell to its slowest pace in almost six years in December as uncertainty continues to weigh on the housing market.
UK house prices rose just 2.5 per cent year-on-year, marking the slowest annual growth since July 2013, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Land Registry.
Growth was dragged down by a 1.1 per cent drop in prices in the east of England, while prices in the south also remained sluggish. Prices in London rose just 0.1 per cent.
The latest figures take the average property value in the UK to £230,776, while London retains the top spot for house prices, with an average value of £473,822. Across the UK, prices ticked up just 0.2 per cent month-on-month.
Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: “House prices continued to grow, albeit at the lowest UK annual rate since July 2013, with growth in the north east and London lagging behind Northern Ireland, Wales and the West Midlands.”
The figures are the latest reminder of the challenges facing the housing market, as both buyers and sellers have been impacted by economic and political uncertainty.
Data published yesterday by Lon Res showed prime property prices in the capital fell 5.7 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter.
More than 50 per cent of prime properties had their asking price slashed before being sold, the research stated.
Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, said the slowing market has been largely impacted by the decline in the value of flats.
“Whilst Brexit remains farcical, we should expect some volatility of course,” he said. “But our view is that given the relatively robust London market, there is cause for significant optimism in both values and transactions from the second quarter onwards.”
Read more: UK house prices fall at the start of 2019
But Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, warned of continued difficulties as Brexit draws nearer.
“If the UK leaves the EU at the end of March without an approved Brexit deal, house prices could well fall by up to five per cent in 2019 amid heightened uncertainty and weakened economic activity,” he said.