All property hot spots in the UK are now outside the South, according to the Halifax House Price Index Q3 report. The London market in particular has slowed to the bottom of the regional annual house price growth table, with annual house price inflation below 10% for the first time since Q1, 2001.
Elsewhere Widnes has recorded the biggest rise in prices (68%), followed by Barry (59%), St Helens (55%) and Swansea (53%). The average price in Wales has broken the £100,000 barrier for the first time, and the Principality now has four of the top ten hotspots in the UK.
Although prices in Greater London increased by 2.1% in Q3, reversing a 0.7% fall in Q2, annual house price inflation continues to slow, falling to 8.6% from 11.5% in Q2.
Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, said: “The recent rapid rises in house prices in the north have led to a modest reduction in the North/South property divide over the last six months. More favourable housing affordability and encouraging labour market trends in the North should cause the gap to narrow further during the coming few quarters. The substantial differential in property prices between the South and other regions is, however, set to persist.”
Also released, figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s house price index for August show the average house price in the UK at £159,010, up from £156,273 in July. UK annual house price inflation in August 2003 was 14% – down from 14.6% in July.