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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Prices still rising but growth continues to slow, official figures show

Government figures are the latest to show that house prices are still going up - but with a reduced rate of growth.

The Office for National Statistics says that in April, the data just released, average UK house prices rose on an annual basis by 3.9 per cent compared to 4.2 per cent in March. 

The ONS says the annual growth rate has been slowing since mid-2016 and has remained under 5.0 per cent throughout almost all of 2017 and into 2018.

In terms of national regions, English house prices rose 3.7 per cent over the year to April 2018 with the average price in England now £244,000; Wales saw house prices increase by 4.4 per cent to stand at £156,000. 

In Scotland, the average price increased by 5.6 per cent on a 12-month basis to reach £149,000 and the average price in Northern Ireland is a modest £130,000, an increase of 4.2 per cent.

The South West showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 6.1 per cent to April, followed by the West Midlands with a rise of 5.9 per cent.

“It’s good to see first time buyers becoming more active, with their annual growth near matching the growth of transactions by former owner occupiers for the first time in 2018. It is important for these younger generations to re-establish themselves on the property ladder and this increase in activity was most likely supported by Help to Buy” says Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “Behind the numbers bears out what we’re finding on the High Street – transactions are falling while listings have increased but not making up for an historic shortfall whereas demand is relatively flat. As a result, the increase in house prices is more to do with the lack of supply of appropriate property in places where people most want to live rather than a marked improvement in confidence.”

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