UK house prices rose by 1.8 per cent during the second quarter of this year, bringing the average cost of a UK property to a record £215,582 from £211,868 in the first quarter.
And according to the Halifax House Price Index, prices were up 8.5 per cent compared to the same period one year ago, marking the slowest annual growth recorded since the third quarter of last year.
The numbers for the second quarter mark the fifteenth consecutive quarter of growth, with prices now 36.6 per cent higher than they were at the height of the financial crisis in the spring of 2009. However, just six of the 12 UK regions covered in the Halifax index recorded price rises in the three months to June – in London, house prices did not budge during the period.
“This is the first time that prices have failed to rise in London since late 2012,” said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.
“The second quarter stagnation still left house prices in the capital some 14.6 per cent higher than a year ago, the highest annual rate of increase of all UK regions, but that’s down from 21.2 per cent in the first three months of the year.”
Halifax highlighted that “considerable regional variations in terms of both house price inflation and standard house price levels continued into the second quarter”, with London and the south east remaining “by far the most expensive areas”.
London prices are now close to four times the average price paid in the area of the UK with the lowest house value – currently Northern Ireland at £119,000. The average price in the capital is currently almost £450,000, according to Halifax’s data.
Scotland and Wales saw year-on-year house price declines of 1.6 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively, representing the weakest trends.
“The UK housing market showed signs of cooling in the spring,” Williamson added.
“However, the extent to which this is a reflection of Brexit worries or the increase in stamp duty in the Budget remains uncertain.”
Analysts are still unsure of how the Brexit vote will affect house prices – although some have predicted a fall of as much as five per cent in the second half of this year.