Wales still showing fastest annual house price growth – but prices start to fall across UK as a whole
Wales is still showing the fastest annual house price growth across the UK – but prices have started to fall overall across Britain and Northern Ireland, according to an index.
Looking across the nations of the UK, annual house price growth was strongest in Wales, at 14.8%.
But the average house price in Britain and Northern Ireland as a whole edged down in September, from a record high recorded the previous month, Halifax said.
Figures going back to the summer indicate the housing market may have already entered a more sustained period of slower growth, they added.
Across the UK, house prices fell back slightly by 0.1% in September. The annual rate of house price growth also slowed to 9.9% in September from 11.4% in August – returning to single digits for the first time since January.
A typical UK property now costs £293,835, according to Halifax’s index, compared with £224,490 in Wales alone.
The number of mortgage products available fell sharply following the recent mini-budget and as product choice has gradually returned, lenders have been pricing their mortgage deals upwards.
The average five-year fixed-rate mortgage and the average two-year fix breached 6% this week – the first time this has happened in more than a decade – according to data from Moneyfacts.co.uk.
Kim Kinnaird, director, Halifax Mortgages, said: “The events of the last few weeks have led to greater economic uncertainty, however in reality house prices have been largely flat since June, up by around £250.
“This compares to a rise of more than £10,000 during the previous quarter, suggesting the housing market may have already entered a more sustained period of slower growth.
“Predicting what happens next means making sense of the many variables now at play and the housing market has consistently defied expectations in recent times.
“While stamp duty cuts, the short supply of homes for sale and a strong labour market all support house prices, the prospect of interest rates continuing to rise sharply amid the cost-of-living squeeze, plus the impact in recent weeks of higher mortgage borrowing costs on affordability, are likely to exert more significant downward pressure on house prices in the months ahead.
“This will undoubtedly be a cause of some concern for homeowners but the unprecedented rate of property price inflation we’ve seen in recent years has been far above the historic average.
“It’s important to look at slower growth in this context – since the start of the pandemic average property values have risen by around 23% (nearly £55,000) with detached house prices up by more than £100,000 over the same period.”
While Wales saw 14.8% annual growth, Scotland, London, Eastern England and the North East of England have seen annual house price inflation fall to single-digit levels.
The West Midlands has overtaken the South West to record the strongest rate of annual growth in England, with house prices rising by 13.3% over the past year.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “While the turmoil of the past couple of weeks will go down in the history books, the money markets seem to have settled a little.
“It is important to reiterate that the mortgage market is still open for business.”
Alice Haine, a personal finance analyst at Bestinvest, said: “While the pace of mortgage rate rises has accelerated since the mini-budget, the situation is not a complete surprise.
“Mortgage costs have been increasing steadily since December when the Bank of England first started pushing up its base rate from a record low of 0.1% in a bid to curb runaway inflation.
“The base rate now sits at 2.25%, with expectations it might jump up to 1% at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting next month, pushing up mortgage rates once again.”
Matthew Thompson, head of sales at Chestertons, said the estate agent is “encountering an increasing number of house hunters who want to secure a property as soon as possible and take out a fixed-rate mortgage”.
He added: “This has contributed to September’s property market remaining busy and competitive. As the cost-of-living crisis is looming, some buyers are compromising on their priorities in order to secure a property under their initial budget.”
Here are average house prices in September and the annual increase, according to Halifax:
– East Midlands, £245,082, 11.7%
– Eastern England, £340,839, 9.7%
– London, £553,849, 8.1%
– North East, £170,999, 9.9%
– North West, £229,106, 12.8%
– Northern Ireland, £184,570, 10.9%
– Scotland, £204,305, 8.5%
– South East, £399,895, 10.6%
– South West, £311,229, 12.5%
– Wales, £224,490, 14.8%
– West Midlands, £255,822, 13.3%
– Yorkshire and the Humber, £208,318, 11.4%
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We have been trying to move back to Wales from suburban NW London for the last 6 months. Trying to sell in the current environment is dire. We have had 4 offers that have started the process only to be withdrawn because of concerns over escalating interest rates. My wife’s “hiraeth” is getting particularly intense so we have continued. I’ve just seen the new properties in the town we are looking to move to on Zoopla, they are nearly all properties that had previously been under offer. We have dropped our price by 10% since June. The real kick to… Read more »
Get ready, Welsh Gov. Then buy lots of houses when they get cheap. Rent them out to young people on let to buy basis.