House prices jump but London growth lags

Across the United Kingdom, annual house price growth stood at 5.4 per cent in September, up from 4.8 per cent in August, according to figures released jointly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), HM Land Registry and other bodies.

The slowest annual growth was in London at 2.5 per cent.

The North West experienced the highest rate of annual house price growth in September, at an average of 7.3%.

The Founder and CEO of online estate agent, Russell Quirk, comments on the index: "The market has continued to splutter along, registering yet more marginal positive price growth despite a sustainably lower level of buyer demand".

Month-on-month, house prices increased 0.4 per cent between August and September this year. In Scotland, the average price increased by 3.1 per cent over the year, reaching £145,000.

Ishaan Malhi, chief executive of online mortgage broker, Trussle, said: "Many people expressed concern for the housing market after Brexit, but prices are 5.4% higher than they were this time previous year".

The average United Kingdom house price was £226,000 in September 2017, some £11,000 higher than a year earlier.

Despite fears of a downward spiral in property prices, most experts believe the chronic under-supply of housing combined with low interest rates means a major downturn or collapse in the market is unlikely.

"The Budget is now a little over a week away, and rumours are already swirling about some Government support for first time buyers. The mortgage sector is slowly innovating to make the process of buying a home less stressful and time consuming, but, until more housing supply brings down the cost of property, homeownership will remain a pipedream for some".

London house prices continue to slow, official data shows, as house price growth in the capital falls well behind other United Kingdom regions.

Richard Snook, a senior economist, PwC, said: "The trend that has been emerging over the summer and autumn is the rest of the United Kingdom outperforming London".

The North West showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 7.3% in the year to September 2017. Buy-to-let lending increased by 4 per cent despite the withdrawal of tax incentives dampening growth in the market.

In the U.K as a whole, the number of property transactions completed in July 2017 decreased 15.2% when compared with July 2016 and are now at a five-year low, according to the report. Up until this point, a combination of low mortgage rates and high rates of employment have helped balance out the squeeze on household incomes from stagnant wages and rising inflation.

"As the Budget draws closer, we hope to see some ironclad commitments from the Government on its plan for tackling the growing demand for housing".

Figures from UK Finance, which represents mortgage lenders, showed that activity from first-time buyers has dropped. There may be no quick fix, but now more than ever, the private rented sector will be relied upon by those unwilling or unable to buy a house outright.

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