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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Many regional housing markets booming despite London woe, say agents

House prices have remained roughly stagnant according to the latest figures produced by the Office for National Statistics and HM Land Registry.

Average house prices in the UK increased by 1.4 per cent in the year to March, edging up slightly from the 1.0 per cent recorded in the previous month. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.1 per cent between February and March. Overall, house prices grew on average by £3,000 over the course of the year to £227,000. 

Agents have suggested that although there are some brighter regional signs, the stagnation is likely to end until the Brexit crisis is closer to resolution. 

“It’s positive to see some regions across the country continuing to battle against the background drone of Brexit. Despite prices remaining flat over the year to February, [the] stats show Yorkshire and the Humber taking the lead in the property price growth race, with the West Midlands also continuing to perform well” explains Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops.

“With a second referendum potentially on the cards and a [Conservative] leadership contest in sight, political uncertainties remain one constant for the market. Yet many buyers and sellers are becoming accustomed to this political change and are resigned to the fact that there might not actually be a ‘perfect time’ to move for a while yet” he adds.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, comments: “Once again, it is Middle England which is continuing to prop up growth– as house prices in the East Midlands and up the M1 corridor continue to rocket. Areas such as Derbyshire and Harborough experienced a vast 10 per cent growth in prices. No sign of Brexit hysteria here.

“But the broader uptick in prices across the country is largely being led by a critical lack of stock. Despite the fact that registrations are up by five per cent annually, there are still four per cent fewer properties on the market than the same time last year” he says.

And former RICS residential faculty chair Jeremy Leaf - who also runs his own London agency - says: “Once again, we are seeing London acting as a drag on the rest of the UK housing market as despite improvements in affordability, almost record low mortgage rates and unemployment, combined with a shortage of stock. With prices down one month, up the next - no real pattern has emerged.

“On the ground, we’re seeing pent-up demand drip-feeding back into the market but many sellers buoyed by significant equity are still finding it difficult to accept the realities of today’s new norm.”

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