House price growth slows to 6.9% in October

UK house price growth slowed to 6.9% in October, down from 7.7% in September, the government’s house price index has revealed.

On a monthly basis prices rose by 0.1% from September to average at £216,674.

Prices saw the biggest rises in the East of England (12.3%), followed by the South West (7.2%) and London (7.7%).

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Yet again annual house prices continued their upwards trajectory in November, as a horde of potential buyers flooded the housing market up and down the UK.

“Buyers are still struggling to get onto the property ladder, however, largely due to the chronic shortage of affordable homes.

“What we need is more schemes designed to stimulate supply, as opposed to policies that simply drive demand.

“Hopefully with the announcements in the Autumn Statement, this will be the government that finally tackles the housing crisis once and for all.”

On a monthly basis prices rose in the East of England (1.3%) and East Midlands (1.3%) but fell in the North East (-1.3%), North West (-1.2%) and London (-1.2%)

London agents were pessimistic about conditions in the capital.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Although the rise in property prices at first glance is quite encouraging, it is worth bearing in mind that the data is quite historic – at least two months out of date – and when you look at the number of transactions, particularly in London, the figures actually become much more worrying.

“At ground level we are always much more concerned about the ability of buyers and sellers to access the market rather than the boom and bust in house prices which are much less relevant when considering the health or otherwise of the property market.”

And Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of eMoov, said: “It would seem that London has taken a back seat when it comes to the driving force behind UK house price growth.

“The industry will really start to stutter to a halt now as Christmas fast approaches and so any panic over falling house prices should really be taken with a pinch of salt.

“Not only will buyer demand drop right off as thoughts turn to the stress of the festive season, but many sellers will also freeze the marketing of their property, ready to hit the ground running again in January.”

He added: “Although there is a great marketing push behind the “Boxing Day Bounce” and the number of people that log on after the Queen’s speech to surf the property portals, this has little benefit to actual sellers, as those full of Christmas merriment are unlikely to be serious in their search.

“So it really is worthwhile to enjoy your time with friends and family and prepare for the onslaught of buyer interest that will come with the New Year.”

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Written by: Houseladder