UK house prices rise 8.7%
UK house prices rose by 8.7% in the year to June, pushing the average price to £213,927, according to the Land Registry’s latest official figures published today.
On a monthly basis, average prices rose by 0.8% between May and June.
London’s property prices continued their double-digit growth, rising 12.6% in the year to June, taking prices to £472,204.
However, the biggest price gains were in the East of England, where the average property is now £270,029, 14.3% more than a year ago.
Annual house price growth was weakest in the North East, where average prices fell slightly over the last month to £124,470.
House prices showed little sign of slowing in June, despite speculation that political uncertainty surrounding Brexit would rattle buyers’ nerves, according to some property experts.
Andy Knee of property advisers LMS says: “The £17,000 increase in the average house price puts savings returns to shame in the current low interest rate environment, and leaves many homeowners with significantly more equity at their disposal than a year ago.
“Although the longer-term impact of the vote to leave the EU on house prices remains to be seen, we expect consumer demand to remain high. Appetite for housing continues to outweigh supply, following a modest 1.8% increase in new-build housing output for the second quarter of 2016, and only by tackling this will buyers see a respite in the cost of housing.”
He adds that the recent base rate cut to 0.25% could further fuel buyers’ budgets, pushing house prices ever higher.
The table below details the price changes by region:
|Country and government office region||Price||Monthly change||Annual change|
|Northern Ireland (Quarter 2 - 2016)||£123,241||3.80%||7.80%|
|East of England||£270,029||1.30%||14.30%|
|West Midlands Region||£174,998||-0.20%||6.40%|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||£149,706||1.20%||5.50%|
Though price growth remains strong, overall housing transactions dipped slightly in the second quarter of 2016 because of a last-minute surge in purchases in March, as investors rushed to avoid the new stamp duty on buy-to-let properties and second homes.
In March, 171,000 properties were sold, according to HMRC, almost 100,000 more than in April when transactions dropped to 73,370 - the lowest in at least a year.
However, since then transactions have rebounded and monthly transactions broke through the 100,000 a month barrier in June.
A hugely unpopular tax paid on property and share purchases. Stamp duty on property is levied at 1% for purchases over £125,000 (£250,000 for first-time buyers) which then moves up at a tiered rate. For property between £125k and £250k you pay 1%, then 3% from £250k up to £500k and then 4% from £500k to £1m and then 5% for properties over £1m. But unlike income tax, which is “tiered” and different rates kick in at different levels, stamp duty is a “slab” tax where you pay the rate on the whole purchase price of the property. On shares, stamp duty is charged at a flat rate of 0.5% on all share purchases. Figures correct as of May 2011.
The catch-all term applied to investors who buy properties with the sole intention of letting them to tenants rather than living in them themselves, with the proceeds from the let usually used for the repayment of the mortgage. Buy-to-let investors have to take out specialised mortgages that carry higher interest rates and require a much bigger deposit than a standard mortgage. Other expenditure can include legal fees, income tax (on the rental profits you make), capital gains tax (if you sell the property) and “void” periods when the property is unlet.
Also referred to as the bank rate or the minimum lending rate, the Bank of England base rate is the lowest rate the Bank uses to discount bills of exchange. This affects consumers as it is used by mainstream lenders and banks as the basis for calculating interest rates on mortgages, loans and savings.