London slows UK house price growth: ONS


House price growth cooled to 4.4 per cent in the year to February, down from 4.7 per cent in January, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The average UK house price fell 0.1 per cent in February itself.

The ONS says the UK average was mainly dragged down by London, where house prices fell 1 per cent in the year to February.

The average UK house price was £225,000 in February, the same as January and up £9,000 on February 2017.

London had the highest average house price, at £472,000. The lowest was the North East, where the typical property costs £128,000.

Private Finance director Shaun Church says: “The property price slowdown in the capital continues, with February marking the first time London has experienced negative annual house price growth since September 2009.

“Though a fall of 1 per cent might not seem much to buyers in the area, it is indicative of a wider trend of gradually reduced house price growth that has been in place in London since mid-2016.”

“It’s evident that house prices have reached a ceiling in many parts of the capital, and with the average house price in London still remaining over £470,000, a fall in prices would be a welcome change for many struggling potential buyers.

The West Midlands had the highest yearly growth, with prices rising 7.3 per cent in the year to February.

Foundation Home Loans director of marketing Jeff Knight says: “The first quarter of the year has experienced a fall in buyer demand and some anecdotal evidence suggesting mortgage softening, mainly due to unfeasible asking prices which – even with record low interest rates – have been rising at a pace faster than earnings, particularly marginalising younger property hunters looking to get into the ownership and rental market.”

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