Wednesday 18 December 2019 9:48 am

UK house prices: Growth slows to seven-year low

UK house price growth slumped to the lowest level in seven years in October driven by a 1.6 per cent price drop in London.

UK house prices grew by 0.7 per cent in the year to October – compared to 1.3 per cent the previous month – the slowest rate since September 2012. 

Between September and October, house prices slumped 0.7 per cent across the UK.

Read more: Rightmove: Tory election win will boost house prices in 2020

The average UK house price was £233,000 in October this year, £2,000 higher than in October 2018, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

The lowest annual house price growth was in London, followed by North East England where prices fell by 1.1 per cent over the year. The strongest growth in England was seen in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Mike Scott, chief property analyst at estate agent Yopa, said: “We expect that the rate of increase will recover in future releases, though with another brief slowdown in the figures during the first quarter of next year as the political uncertainty of October and November works its way into this report.

“For the year as a whole, we expect a return to slow but steady house price growth, roughly in line with wage increases and general inflation.

“London is still doing worse than the rest of the country, with a 1.6 per cent annual decrease in prices, and we expect it to continue to lag behind the cheaper regions where affordability hasn’t been so over-stretched.

“However, we do not expect any further significant decline in London, and it may well end 2020 with prices pretty much the same as they are now, while more northern and western regions continue to perform better.”

“This is the first house price index since the election and it’s time to say farewell to a read-out that has been wracked by indecision and self-doubt for too long,” Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove added.

“The UK house price index has the longest lead time of all the indices and Boris Johnson has taken his boot and stamped a use-by date all over the Land Registry’s dial.

“You can expect the market to start deciding which way it really wants to move now and that new direction will show itself even more in the New Year.”

Earlier this week research by Rightmove found that UK house prices could jump two per cent next year following the Conservative Party’s election victory.

Read more: London house prices finally show signs of life in October

UK house prices are expected to benefit from greater home-mover confidence, which had been weakened by the political uncertainty seen since the 2016 EU referendum.

House prices in the south of England could jump by around one per cent, the research found, while northern regions are expected to enjoy a boost of between two per cent to four per cent.