ONS: House prices up £11k annually in July 2017

The average UK property prices is up 5.1 per cent annually with official figures suggesting the housing market has undergone a summer mini-revival in 2017.

In July, the average house price was £226,000, up £11,000 compared to the same time last year and £2,000 on the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Earlier in the year, annual property value growth had slowed to 3.8 per cent, the lowest rate since October 2013 indicating the market was struggling on the back of years of surging prices.

Strong growth: Annual house prices are up 5.1% the ONS says. Pictured, a property in the Cotswolds, which has seen bumper gains in the last 12 months

The growth has been largely driven outside of London, the data – which lags a month behind other indexes from lenders Halifax and Nationwide – shows.

The East Midlands had the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 7.5 per cent in the year to July 2017.

The region consists of the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire

This was followed by the East at 7.1 per cent and the South West at seven per cent. 

The lowest annual growth was in the capital, where prices increased by 2.8 per cent over the year, followed by the South East at 3.8 per cent.

But properties in London are still valued far higher than anywhere else in the country. 

The average price is £489,000, followed by the South East and the East of England, which stand at £321,000 and £290,000 respectively.

The lowest average price continues to be in the North East at £133,000.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: ‘While the ONS figures are quite historic, they suggest a fairly stable market with the growth rate in property prices unchanged since June.

‘This comes at a time when we might have expected more nervousness among buyers and sellers.

‘However, it is the shortage of supply, historically low mortgage rates and relatively low unemployment which are underpinning prices, rather than strong buyer demand.

‘On the high street we have noticed some nervousness among potential purchasers that interest rates will eventually rise, although the chances of an increase in the short term have diminished recently.

‘Even small increases could cause problems for many consumers in view of high borrowing levels.’

The local authority showing the largest annual growth in the year to July 2017 was in the Cotswolds, where prices increased by 16.2 per cent to stand at £385,000.

Other local areas which performed strongly include Hinckley and Bosworth with growth of 14.7 per cent to reach £212,285 and Blackburn with Darwen, with rises of 13.9 per cent to reach £116,310.

On a country-by-country basis, house prices were up 5.4 per cent in England, 4.8 per cent in Scotland, 4.4 per cent in Northern Ireland and 3.1 per cent in Wales.

Last week, figures from Halifax for August showed annual property price inflation picked up to 2.6 per cent last month, but down substantially on the 8.4 per cent recorded a year ago.

It means property prices reached a new record high of £222,293.

Also released this morning are figures from UK Finance, a trade association which is the new name for number of bodies, including the Council for Mortgage Lenders.

Its mortgage figures for June show that first-time buyers borrowed £5billion, 14 per cent higher than a year ago. Home movers borrowed £7.1billion up 15 per cent in 12 months.

Remortgaging is up 12 per cent to £6.7billion while buy-to-let totalled £3.2billion, seven per cent higher than June 2016.

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: ‘Even despite the uncertainty around Britain’s Brexit negotiations, these figures clearly show the mortgage market remains in a strong position.

‘More buyers are accessing the funds they need to make their next move on the housing ladder, and this should be welcome news for the wider economy.’ 

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