May house price data, PwC comments

Jul 17, 2019

Jamie Durham, economist at PwC, comments on the latest UK house price data:

"Today’s house price release from the ONS and Land Registry shows house prices increased by 1.2% in the year to May 2019, down from 1.5% in April. The price of a typical UK house is £229,000, down from a peak of £232,000 in August 2018.

The big story here is London, with the capital weighing on the country’s house price growth. Annual house price growth fell sharply in the year to May 2019, with prices down by 4.4% on the year before. This is the slowest rate of growth since August 2009, which was during the financial crisis.

A number of factors may have contributed to this fall in the growth rate. The capital and the surrounding regions are already the most unaffordable in the country. Continued Brexit uncertainty and Stamp Duty changes in 2016 are also likely to be putting downward pressure on prices.

Growth in other regions around the UK has also weakened.  Prices in the North East fell by 0.7% on an annual basis, while prices in the East Midlands – which has recently been one of the strongest performing regions – rose by only 0.4%.

We forecast average house price growth in the UK of just over 1% in 2019. For more information, see our July edition of the UK Economic Outlook.”

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