London see biggest houses price fall in 10 years

London Landscape

Brexit uncertainty and stamp duty costs have been blamed for the biggest fall in London house prices in 10 years

Official figures showed London property values tumbled by 4.4% in the year to May – the biggest downward slide for the capital since August 2009 when there was a 7% fall. The average price of a detached house has fallen by as much as £50,000.

London’s price fall dragged down the UK average but many areas of the country saw growth, especially Northern areas and Wales, according to the report, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Land Registry and other bodies.

The average UK house prices rose by 1.2% in the year to May, slowing from a 1.5% increase in April, with the average UK house price now standing at £229,000 in May.

London’s tumbling house prices haven’t dented its position as the most expensive place to buy in the country, with an average property price of £457,000.

The North West was the English region with the highest annual house price growth in May, with values increasing by 3.4%. This was followed by the West Midlands, where house prices increased by 2.7%.

Average house prices increased annually by 3% in Wales to reach £159,000; by 2.8% in Scotland to £153,000; by 1% in England to £246,000 and by 3.5% in Northern Ireland to £135,000.

The North West was the English region with the highest annual house price growth in May, with values increasing by 3.4%. This was followed by the West Midlands, where house prices increased by 2.7%.

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “House price growth is slowing as sentiment continues to weaken, partly as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

“While prices fell in London by 4.4% over the year to May 2019, affordability is still an issue for those buying in the capital and South East as prices remain relatively high compared to incomes.”

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of online estate agent Housesimple, said: “London’s price fall has plagued the UK average partly due to uncertainty but mainly because of the punitive stamp duty regime, while slowdowns in the South and East of England over the past three years have also taken their toll.

“Yet economic factors that underpin the property market are looking strong.”

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25th July 2019