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House prices rise 1.3 per cent despite London struggles

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The average price of a house in the UK increased by 1.3 per cent to £234,853 over the year in August.

Prices rose by 0.8 per cent from the previous month, according to the Office of National Statistics’s House Price Index, compared with a rise of 0.3 per cent during the same period a year earlier. 

On a regional basis London saw the slowest growth as prices dropped 1.4 per cent. Only the South East also saw prices fall over the year.

At the country level, the largest annual price growth was recorded in Wales, increasing by 4.5 per cent to £168,318, while Scotland saw house prices increase by 1.6 per cent to £154,549. 

The slowest annual growth was in England where prices increased by 1.1 per cent to £251,233. 

Static growth

Lucy Pendleton, founder director of independent estate agents James Pendleton, said that the London market’s head was “still in a vice”, but offers are nonetheless coming forward “which suggests buyers don’t believe this period of consolidation will last too long”.

She added: “Growth may be almost static nationwide but it would be even worse were it not for the UK’s army of first-time buyers who are putting a floor under prices with their can-do attitude.”

Paying the price

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of specialist lender Octane Capital, said that the prospect of Brexit is weighing on the property market, keeping it “frozen in a one per cent annual price growth rut”. 

He continued: “London and the South East remain the primary drag on average prices, as they pay for the riotous growth of five or six years ago.” 

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent, said with the market remaining “relatively flat” the resilience was welcome as it was “reinforced by improving affordability and near record-low mortgage rates”. 

He added: “It is worth noting that a national average masks what is happening in local markets evidenced by the fall in prices in London by 1.4 per cent over the year compared with almost the whole of the rest of the country.” 

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