House prices still rising at 5.1% a year

The average price of residential property has increased by £11,000 over the past year.

House price growth across the UK is proving stronger than previously predicted, with values rising by 5.1% year-on-year, according to the latest home price figures.

Official data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that the average property price in July was £226,000, up £11,000 compared to the corresponding period last year and £2,000 higher than the previous month, which is quite amazing, given the recent political uncertainty such as Brexit and the UK general election.

But it is the lack of homes on the market for sale, low mortgage rates and falling unemployment which are underpinning property prices, although buyers remain price sensitive.

The uplift in property prices suggests that the housing market may now be undergoing a mini-revival over the summer period, in spite of the fact that we normally come to expect a slight seasonal dip coming into the summer months. However, it is worth pointing out that ONS property price data lags a month behind other indexes from lenders Halifax and Nationwide.

Earlier this year, annual property prices were rising at the reduced level of 3.8%, which according to the ONS was the lowest rate since October 2013 indicating that the market may have run out of steam following years of surging home values.

The growth in house prices has been fuelled primarily by areas outside of London, led by gains in the East Midlands, which consists of the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.

The East Midlands saw property prices rise by 7.5% in the 12 months to July, followed by 7.1% in the East of England and 7% in the South West.

The lowest annual growth was in London, where home prices increased by 2.8% over the year, followed by the South East at 3.8%.

Unsurprisingly, the capital remains home to the most expensive properties in the UK, at an average price of £489,000, followed by the South East and the East of England, which stand at £321,000 and £290,000 respectively.

The cheapest residential properties can currently be found in the North East of England, where the average property costs £133,000.

The local authority showing the greatest annual growth in the year to July was in the Cotswolds, where property prices increased by 16.2% to stand at £385,000.

Other local areas which performed strongly include Hinckley and Bosworth with growth of 14.7% to reach an average of £212,285 and Blackburn with Darwen, with increases of 13.9% to reach £116,310.

Looking at property prices on a country-by-country basis, house prices were up 5.4% in England, 4.8% in Scotland, 4.4% in Northern Ireland and 3.1% in Wales.