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House price growth slows again as agents enter ‘busy autumn’

Annual house price growth has returned to its lowest level since the pandemic, Land Registry data shows.

The latest figures from the Land Registry shows property price growth slowed from 1.9% to 0.6% in July 2023.

That is the slowest rate since the pandemic, when prices rose by just 0.69% in April 2020.


Prices also slowed on a monthly basis from 1.9% to 0.5%, putting the average property price at £289,824.

Annual house price inflation was highest in the North East where prices increased by 2.7% in the 12 months to July 2023. The South West was the English region with the lowest annual inflation, where prices decreased by 1%.

It comes after the Halifax and Nationwide house price reports showed values dropping at their lowest levels since 2009.

Agents remain positive though despite the time lag in the Land Registry data, highlighting separate figures showing the rate of inflation has fallen to 6.7%.

Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “Despite gloomy predictions, house price growth is still positive, and good news on inflation means that the market can be optimistic about autumn.

“Sellers may worry about the value of their home, but it’s important to remember that it‘s still worth much more than it was prior to the pandemic. 

“Continuing buyer demand is helping hold up the market and keeping property prices buoyant in the face of challenging conditions.

“The inflation figures will add to downward pressure on mortgage rates, offering a welcome respite to first-time buyers and those nearing the end of fixed deals.

“Autumn is typically a busy season for estate agents, and there’s a few glimmers of hope that the end of the year will see the market turn.” 

Chris Druce, senior research analyst at Knight Frank said he expects prices to fall further, with a reduction of 10% through the rest of this year and next. 

He added: “This is despite the growing expectation that we are near the top of the interest rate cycle, which has reduced buyers’ spending power and depressed activity in the UK housing market.

“However, improved confidence, strong wage growth, high employment by historic standards, the availability of longer mortgage terms and forbearance from lenders will place a floor on how low prices will go. While we expect a muted period ahead for the residential market we do not expect a cliff edge moment.”

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of agency trade body Propertymark, added: “It is no surprise we are seeing such a drastic slowing in house price growth due to the unprecedented pace at which they increased last year. 

“This drop is needed and should not be seen as a negative as house prices remain up compared to what they were last year, and this slowing is playing a crucial part in combatting rising interest rates and improving homebuyers’ affordability.”

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    Just over a year ago mortgage rates were around 2%, average salaries were around £33k, lenders lent 4.5x incomes, the BTL market was buoyant and average house prices reached close to £300k. Today, mortgage rates are over 5% and the BTL market is in sharp decline, so even though average incomes are now around £37k and lenders will still offer 4.5x incomes, it is not unreasonable to expect average house prices to continue to fall significantly - especially when other factors like the cost of groceries, energy, insurance and childcare, etc. are taken into account, plus the increased tax take of central government and ever-rising council tax. I fear that average prices still have some way to fall over the rest of this year and throughout 2024, as more distressed borrowers and those who have to sell (eg because of divorce) are forced to slash prices to secure a sale.

  • Proper Estate Agent

    How many times will these stupid article report annual rolling averages, it's completely misleading in a fast moving market. Do a rolling average over the last 3 months and report that. Then you'll see where the market is headed. Your article said the other day that "Average UK house prices were hit by the largest annual decline..." now the above says growth has slowed... its like a nut show for buyers.


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