Regional house prices defy Brexit uncertainty to hit record highs, but London market remains stagnant

20 May 2019

Regional house price growth is defying Brexit uncertainty, but property prices in London continue to drop, according to the latest Rightmove house price index.

For property coming to market in Wales, the West and East Midlands, and the North West average prices have hit all-time highs.

Overall, monthly house prices increased by 0.9% in May, buoyed by the higher buyer demand associated with the more active spring market.

On an annual basis they rose by 0.1%, taking the average house price to £308,290.

Four out of eleven regions are bucking Brexit unceratinty and have set new asking price records for newly-marketed property.

Ian Marriott, director at estate agent FHP Living in West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire, says: “I think people are just really bored of the whole Brexit debate.

"It feels like there is some kind of election every week and so the fear factor is perhaps subsiding, and people are just getting on with their lives.”

Properties coming to market in Wales are 4.1% higher than 12 months ago at £200,386.

House prices went up by 3.0% in the West Midlands, 2.5% in the East Midlands and 2.1% in the North West.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, says: “Activity breeds activity and a greater choice of fresh properties in these record-setting regions helps to spur buyers into action, especially if they have a property to sell.

“This in turn adds another new listing that might then tempt another buyer, in a virtuous circle. And in much of the rest of the country, despite the ongoing political uncertainty, agents are reporting that the lure of the right property at the right price still attracts good interest.”

Source: Rightmove, May 2019

House prices drop in London and the South

The average price of a property in London was £621,589, up 1.2% from April but down 2.5% from May last year.

In the South East, house prices fell by 1.1% on an annual basis, going down by 0.9% in the East of England and 1% in the South West.

The only London boroughs to see a rise in prices over the last year were Barking and Dagenham and Bexley.

In Westminster – the most expensive borough – average house prices dropped by 6.3% from May last year to £1.4 million.

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau, says: "What does appear to be clear is that, regardless of region, there is still a discernible level of buyer and seller activity as pent-up demand appears to have given way to a degree of commitment. 

“That said, in some areas it appears to be more of a needs-driven market, whilst the majority of discretionary movers still spectate from the side-lines.”

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