Office for National Statistics (ONS) April data showed on a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.7% between April and March, compared with an increase of 0.5% in average prices during the same period a year earlier.
At the country level, the largest annual price growth was recorded in Scotland, with an increase of 5.6% over the year to Apri.
In England, the April data showed on average, house prices have risen by 1.1% since March 2018. The average price increased by 3.7% over the year, taking the average property value to £243,639. The North East experienced the greatest monthly price rise, up by 4.2%, whilst the East of England saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 0.8%.
Capital in doldrums
London saw the lowest annual price increase, up by one per cent, taking the average property value to £484,584 from £479,790 in April 2017. London shows, on average, house prices have risen by 2.4% since March 2018.
Wales shows, on average, house prices have risen by 1.6% since March 2018. An annual price rise of 4.4% takes the average property value to £156,495 from £149,900 in April 2017.
The average price in Northern Ireland increased by 4.2% over the year to the first quarter 2018.
The UK Property Transaction Statistics for April 2018 showed that on a seasonally adjusted basis the number of transactions on residential properties with a value of £40,000 or greater was 100,190. This is 2.7% lower compared to a year ago. Between March and April 2018, transactions increased by 3.5%.
Regionally-speaking, the South West showed the most dynamic growth with a rate of 6.1%, up from 5.3% the previous month. This was closely followed by the West Midlands at 5.9%. London was the slowest growing region at 1%, up from -0.5% the previous month. This is the sixth month in a row that London has the lowest annual growth rate of any UK country or English region.
John Goodall, CEO of buy-to-let specialist Landbay, said: “House price growth may be beginning to slow down, but affordability remains a concern for many aspiring homeowners struggling to get a foot on the ladder. Insufficient housebuilding is restricting the number of homes available for sale, and when demand begins to pick up again, this will create pressure on prices.
“With wages falling and rents still rising, first-time buyers are often left with very little to put towards a deposit each month. And with the average deposit standing at £33k, the scale of the task is daunting. This means they will continue rely on the private rental sector to house them as they save, which is why greater investment in the supply of properties to rent, not just buy, is critical at a time like this.”
Kevin Roberts, Legal & General Mortgage Club director, said: “The mortgage market is continuing to support first-time buyers onto the ladder with schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, but it’s still a struggle for many buyers and we can’t expect the housing crisis to resolve itself. Recent figures from the Bank of England show that the share of first time buyers has decreased by 20% in the first quarter of 2018 alone.
“Clearly, the persistent lack of housing stock is still making the task of finding their first home a big challenge for younger buyers, and it will only continue to do so unless the Government can really deliver on its promise of building the 300,000 homes a year we need.”