Average UK house price hits £205k but north south divide widens
UK house prices rose in June by 0.2%, according to the Nationwide House Price Index figures, released today (29 June). This is the same as May’s figure, giving a total annual rise of 5.1% to give an average UK house price of £204,968.
The survey shows the split between prices in the north and south of England widened compared to last year. Properties in Southern England (the South West, South East, East Anglia and Other Metropolitan London areas) saw a 9.4% year-on-year change whereas properties in Northern England (West and East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, the North West and the North) saw an increase of a relatively small 2.6% year-on-year.
In cash terms, the gap in average prices between the South and the North of England increased to nearly £169,000, a record high, £24,000 higher than a year ago.
It’s important to remember that these are stats for June, so before the results of the EU Referendum. David Cheetham, market analyst at XTB.com, believes the figure should be treated with caution. He says: “Homebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments have seen their share price hammered in the wake of the vote from the British public to leave the EU and it is now seems feasible that we see at best a pause in residential property prices and at worst a substantial decline.”
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders strikes a rather more dramatic note. “Unfortunately this data is about as much use in predicting the future course of the property market as sun-dappled photos of the summer of 1914,” he says. “It's a historical record of a lost age before Europe changed forever. The brisk 5.1% rate of average annual price growth the Nationwide recorded in June is likely to be the high water mark for the property market for some time to come.”