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Annual house price growth slows but market ‘resilient’

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Government figures show that average UK house prices have risen 5.5% since this time last year.

The annual percentage change for average UK house prices was 5.5% in the 12 months to February 2023, compared with 6.5% in the 12 months to January 2023 and 9% in the 12 months to December 2022.

The average UK house price was £288,000 in February 2023, which is £16,000 higher than 12 months ago. Average house prices increased over the 12 months to £308,000 (6%) in England, to £215,000 in Wales (6.4%), to £180,000 in Scotland (1%), and to £175,000 in Northern Ireland (10.2%).

However, the average UK house price decreased by 1% between January 2023 and February 2023. This caused the UK annual inflation rate to slow this month.

Regional differences

In England, the February data shows that, on average, house prices have fallen 0.8% since January 2023. The annual price rise of 6% takes the average property value to £308,365.

The West Midlands experienced the greatest annual price rise, up by 8.6%, while London saw the lowest annual price growth, with an increase of 2.9%. Prices in the capital have fallen 1.1% since January 2023.

Wales shows, on average, house prices have fallen by 0.6% since January 2023. An annual price rise of 6.4% takes the average property value to £215,343.

What the experts say

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent, said: “Despite another small fall in prices month-on-month, the housing market is proving to be resilient. These are the most comprehensive of all housing surveys but the figures are a little dated, inevitably reporting on activity from a few months earlier when the market was in the doldrums.

“Since then, confidence has slowly improved in response to more choice and stabilising mortgage, if not base, rates. However, worries about inflation persist and buyers want to see value so are flexing their muscles before making decisions.”

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “The property market has turned into a marathon from a sprint. While there is still a long way to go, the market has cleared the first jump relatively unscathed. Today’s figures show a soft repricing, which marks a more stable period for house price values following the supersonic heights reached this time last year.

“Even in the last two months, the economic picture is becoming much more stable. Mortgage deals are also returning to the market after a short hiatus in the immediate aftermath of Trussenomics.

“Market conditions and an under reliance on outside funding has left cash buyers in a fortunate position, able to push ahead with quick completions and benefit from the increasing number of properties entering the market.”