House prices rise further to hit new record despite election uncertainty

The latest property price increase leaves the average UK property price at £220,000 in April.

The average price of a home in the UK increased by 5.6% in the 12 months to April, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), up from a revised 4.5% gain the previous month.

Although house prices have increased month-on-month, there has been a general slowdown in the annual growth rate since the middle of last year.

Nick Leeming, Jackson-Stops & Staff chairman, commented: “The general slowdown of annual house price growth continues, but the market is by no means lying back in defeat. Prices are up in every region, with the East of England continuing to be the star of the show, showing an annual house price growth of 8.1%.

“With Theresa May only calling a snap general election towards the end of April, we will have to wait for next month’s ONS House Price Index to get a full picture of the impact it had on the housing market.”

The latest property price increase leaves the average UK property price at £220,000 in April, up by £12,000 on the year and by £3,000 on the month.

England by region Monthly change % since March 2017 Annual change % since April 2016 Average price April 2017
East Midlands 1.6 6.5 £178,844
East of England 0.6 8.1 £280,690
London 0.7 4.7 £482,779
North East 1.0 0.6 £123,234
North West 2.1 4.1 £152,765
South East 0.3 5.9 £315,334
South West 0.7 6.8 £243,215
West Midlands 1.3 6.0 £183,250
Yorkshire and the Humber 3.9 4.9 £155,357

 

He continued: “Clearly buyers still hold faith in the steadfast UK property market, even amidst political and economic uncertainty – however problems still persist.” “House price growth remained persistent in April, with buyers paying on average £12,000 more for their homes than they did pre-Brexit, and borrowing on average 19% more – once again proving the Brexit scaremongers wrong,” said Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agents.

Smith believes that as house prices rise, many buyers continue to rely far too heavily on the “good nature of Bank of Mum and Dad”, while existing levels of stamp duty continues to frustrate both first-time buyers and downsizers.

“The next government has the opportunity to commit to more radical structural changes to increase home ownership levels, especially among young people,” he added. “However the delay in naming a new housing minister is not a good start.”

Home prices in London remain by far the most expensive in the UK despite the severe downturn in the capital’s prime housing market.

“The report shows the average house price in London now sits at £483,000 – which seems high – but it is worth noting this includes central London figures that push up the average,” said Simon Gerrard, managing director of Martyn Gerrard.

He added: “Stamp duty is placing an enormous pressure on those in the centre of the city and the government needs to work on measures to support an increase in the volume of transactions here.

“I have long been calling for a reversal to stamp duty, whereby the tax would be payable on the home you are selling and not the one you are buying. I believe this could be transformational and would boost the economy in one swift move.”