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House price growth edges down as flat market dampens activity

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Written by: Lana Clements
17/10/2018
House prices in the UK grew by 3.2% in the year to August, edging down from 3.4% in July, official data showed.

The average home value now stands at £232,797, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Month-on-month prices edged up overall by 0.2%.

The East Midlands witnessed the fastest growing values in England, with a monthly gain of 1.5%, while prices fell by 1.1% in the East of England.

London was the worst performing region on an annual basis, with values down 0.2% to an average £486,304.

In Wales, prices have increased by a bumper 6.2% year-on-year to an average £162,374.

Transactions across the UK are down by 2.6% compared to a year ago, but increased by 1.3% between July and August 2018.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said the data reflected his experience of “a relatively flat market with no signs of major change up or down”.

He added: “Certainly, a clearer regional pattern is emerging as buyers seek better value for money outside London whereas prices in the capital continue to drift down.

“Looking forward, we are starting to see first-time buyers taking advantage of reduced competition from landlords for smaller properties, a trend which we hope will receive further encouragement in the chancellor’s Budget later this month.”

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “The housing market thrives on confidence and there is just too much uncertainty around.

“Transaction numbers are low as buyers hesitate and take a ‘wait and see’ attitude unless they really have to move.

“However, with mortgage rates continuing to be low as lenders compete for year-end business, those who do take the plunge will find some great deals to tempt them.”

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