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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

House price growth continues to slow - and London suffers most again

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the year to November average house prices in the UK increased 5.1 per cent - down slightly from 5.4 per cent in October. 

The ONS says annual growth rate has slowed since mid-2016 but has remained broadly around 5.0 per cent over the past year.

The average UK house price was £226,000 in November 2017 - that’s £11,000 higher than in November 2016 and unchanged from last month.

The two stand-out regions were the north west of England, which saw a 6.2 per cent growth in prices annually and prices increasing 1.4 per cent on the month, while London saw only 2.3 per cent growth in prices annually and a 0.9 per cent drop in November.

“Prices and transactions may be fairly flat but there are no signs of significant corrections. While it is still early days, so far this year we’ve seen considerable pent-up demand for properties - not necessarily resulting in offers but certainly plenty of interest from buyers who have their finance lined up and are keen to find more realistically-priced properties” says north London agent and former RICS residential chairman Jeremy Leaf.

“Throughout 2017, prime central London was inundated with buyers and sellers taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, which had a detrimental effect on the fluidity at the lower to middle ends as well as the top. Punitive stamp duty rules can be blamed for halting transaction levels and if steps are not taken to reform the impact stamp duty has on the top end of the market, even just marginally, we cannot expect sales levels to increase or prices to change in 2018” cautions Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops.

Meanwhile Graham Davidson, managing director of buy to let specialist, Sequre Property Investment, comments: “For buy to let investors, it’s clear that London remains a no-go – the capital growth is simply not there and investors are selling up and shipping out, whilst buyers and tenants are looking further afield for better value for money, no doubt as a result of the unsustainable and unaffordable London market.”

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