House prices back on the rise in England and Wales

by Gary Whittaker

The first month-on-month increase in house prices since March has been recorded, which suggests the downturn in the market may have played itself out.

According to the LSL/Acadata index, November saw prices increase by 0.3 per cent, taking the average home price to £300,859. Every region except for Greater London and the south-east saw prices increase. 

Because prices rose by more in November 2016, the annual rate of increase was still down, with the figure of 0.9 per cent being the worst since 2012. The south west performed best with an increase of 4.3 per cent and London worst with a decline of three per cent. Indeed, if London and its surrounding counties are taken out of the equation the average increase rises to 3.3 per cent. 

Against that, the annual average price was up by 6.3 per cent a year ago, indicating that there has been a clear downturn. The report identified that this trend for falling prices lost momentum from September onwards. Driven by higher sales, the decline has apparently petered out n most of the country.

If this means the cost of buying is set to rise again, more people who currently rent may be forced to do so for longer than they hoped due to declining affordability. For landlords looking for investment opportunities, it appears this factor is going to be much stronger outside the south eastern corner of England.

Nonetheless, it may be worth landlords with an eye for the long run keeping tabs on the capital. Much of the recent dip may have been due to the expected disproportionate economic impact of Brexit on London, so if the upcoming trade negotiations between Britain and the EU produce a more favourable situation than many fear, that may change. 

Indeed, the report noted that even in London, the rate of decline seems to be easing, while going forward into 2018 the housing market will benefit from incentives like the stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers.

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19-December-17General Lettings News