House price trends reveal contrast between London and rest
The latest house price data compiled by the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry has revealed a marked contrast between London and the rest of the UK.
During the year to March 2018, prices in the capital fell by 0.7 per cent. This made it the only region in the UK to witness a decline in price. The second weakest performer was the north east, with an annual increase of 2.1 per cent, exactly half the national average.
By contrast, Scotland was the best performer with a 6.7 per cent rise. Several other regions saw price increases of more than five per cent, including the north west, both the East and West Midlands and the East of England.
The data was further confirmation that the London property market has suffered in the wake of the EU referendum, amid widespread uncertainty about the future of the city as a global financial centre.
Monthly figures for March revealed an overall drop of 0.2 per cent and all but one English region - the East of England - saw falls. However, even this picture provided some correlation with the annual trend. The two worst-performing regions annually, London and the north east, saw the largest monthly falls, while the two highest increases were in the two regions with the best annual performance, Scotland and the East of England. Northern Ireland was the only other region to see price growth.
Despite these figures, London remains by far the most expensive region in which to buy a residential property, at an average of £471,944. The south east remains second on £320,682 and the east of England is third on £291,415. The north east is the cheapest area at £124,381.
Earlier this week, data from Lloyds Bank revealed first-time buyers have to pay twice as much to get on the housing ladder in the capital as in the rest of Britain, at £420,515. While the London market may have dipped in the last year, this will only have a marginal impact on the affordability struggles faced by those trying to buy in the capital.