House prices in Wales increasing at the highest rate in the UK
Average house prices in Wales have recorded the highest growth rate in the UK according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
In the 12 months up to the end of March house prices jumped by 11.7% to an average of £206,000 in Wales.
The average UK house price jumped by £24,000 in the year, according to official figures, taking the typical property value to £278,000.
The annual UK growth rate in March was at 9.8%, a fall from the 11.3% annual increase recorded in February.
In England average house prices increased over the year to a record £298,000 (a 9.9% annual increase), in Scotland to £181,000 (8.0%) and in Northern Ireland to £165,000 (10.4%).
Within England, the East Midlands had the highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 12.4% in the year to March.
The lowest annual house price growth was in London, where average prices increased by 4.8% over the year to March.
London’s average house prices remain the most expensive in the UK, with an average price of £524,000 in March.
ONS house prices statistician Ceri Lewis said: “Our latest figures continue to show house prices increasing and remaining at record levels.
“UK rental prices are also still growing rapidly across all nations and regions. After the falls seen last year, London rental prices continue to pick up with their strongest growth since November 2020.”
A separate report from the ONS showed private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 2.7% in the 12 months to April, up from 2.4% in the 12 months to March.
Private rents increased by 2.5% in England, 1.7% in Wales, and 2.9% in Scotland in the 12 months to April 2022.
Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, said: “The winds of change are certainly starting to blow and while this building economic headwind is yet to derail the phenomenal rates of house price growth being seen across the UK on an annual basis, it certainly seems as though dark clouds are gathering on the horizon.”
Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons, said: “Historically, spring marks the beginning of increased market activity with a surge in properties coming to the market. Not even halfway into March, we had also already witnessed a spike in buyer inquiries and sales compared to the same time period last year.”
Anna Clare Harper, director of real estate technology platform IMMO, said: “Much like for the wider economy, house price inflation is being driven by shortages of supply.
“This shortage relates to housing in general, and to quality housing that people can afford, in the places they want and need to live, in particular.”
The report was released on the same day the ONS said Consumer Prices Index inflation rose to 9% in the year to April, up from 7% in March.
Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: “Nine per cent inflation, rising interest rates and a potential recession ahead will impact demand while lenders are becoming ever more cautious, which will restrict what people can borrow.
“This will almost certainly see the rate of price growth slow during 2022 and into next year. Only the entrenched lack of supply can prevent prices from falling.”
Figures reported by Halifax in April reported that house prices in Wales had surged more than the median yearly wage in one year, going up by £29,884,.
The big jump in property prices comes as campaigners call for the Welsh Government to do more to control surging house prices in Wales as many are priced out of buying or renting in their own communities.
In February the Welsh Government announced that the maximum tax hike on second homes is set to be raised to a whopping 300% in an attempt to cool the housing market.
The move is to tackle the negative impact vacant houses, holiday lets and soaring property prices are having on local communities.
It is part of a series of measures set out in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
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