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North of England only region to see house price falls in 2018 – Halifax

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  • 11/01/2019
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North of England only region to see house price falls in 2018 – Halifax
House price rises remained subdued in the South of England, compared to ongoing marked gains in the Midlands, according to the latest regional figures provided by the Halifax House Price Index.

Regional price trends remained mixed during 2018, but of the 12 UK regions 11 registered increases in house prices during 2018, with only the North of England recording a fall of 0.3%.

London recorded only a marginal increase in prices by 0.9%, which was the weakest gain in seven years of continuous inflation.

Similarly, inflation in the South West eased noticeably to just one per cent while the two per cent increase seen in the South East was the weakest since 2012.

Elsewhere, marginal gains were also recorded in Wales of 0.9% and Yorkshire & Humber 0.7%, while inflation in the North West slipped to a six year low of 2.6%.

In contrast, the West Midlands saw a robust increase in house prices, with inflation running at 6.5%, compared to five per cent in 2017. East Anglia at 4.4% and the East Midlands at 3.5% also recorded price gains above the national average.

Overall, UK house price inflation in December hit its lowest level since early 2013, standing at 2.8% from 3.3% in 2017, the data found.

The report showed that UK house prices increased by 0.4% on a quarterly basis in the final three months of 2018, while on a yearly basis they rose by 1.9%, down from a 2.7% increase in the previous quarter.

 

Uncertain in 2019

Paul Smith, economics director at IHS Markit, which conducts the research for Halifax, said that despite a positive backdrop of rising employment and increasing pay levels, 2018 proved to be a subdued year for the UK housing market.

He added: “The slowdown, especially in the second half of the year, seems to have mainly emanated from increasing uncertainty among buyers about the economic outlook, with enquiries down and consumer sentiment weakening.

“With the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union remaining unknown, 2019 price developments remain unusually uncertain and seem inevitably dependent on Brexit developments in the coming months.”

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