UK House Price Index: falling property prices in London offer an opportunity for buyers

Published by Hannah Nemeth on 22 May 2019.
Last updated on 22 May 2019

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While average UK house prices have gone up by 1.4% in the year to March 2019, up from 1% last month, London homeowners have seen house prices fall by 1.9%, according to the UK House Price Index for March 2019. 

Since February 2019, UK house prices have fallen slightly – by just 0.2% –which makes the average property in the UK £226,798.

In England, on average, house prices have fallen by 0.5% since February 2019The annual price rise of 1.1% takes the average property value to £243,128.

Regional variations

Londoners saw house prices fall by 1.9% over the year – up from a fall of 2.7% in February 2019. On average, house prices have fallen by 0.4% since February 2019. The average price of a property in London stands at £463,283.

Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the strongest annual price rise, at 3.6%, while house prices were up by 1.8% over the month. In contrast, the North West saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 1.7%.

In Wales, average house prices have not changed since February 2019, but an annual price rise of 3% takes the average property value to £158,696.  

Dilpreet Bhagrath, mortgage expert for online mortgage broker Trussle, comments: “While the slight uptick in house prices in the year to March, from 1% to 1.4%, may bring some good news to those currently hoping to sell their property, it’s clear that the overall slowdown since mid-2016 continues to keep growth fairly subdued. 

“It’s also interesting to see that London remains to have the lowest annual house price growth, with house prices falling by 1.9% over the year since March 2018.

"While this may not be ideal for current sellers, this fall provides some hope for those looking to buy, especially for first-time buyers who are looking to step a foot on the property ladder.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, adds: “It could be argued that there was a need for a correction in the capital with property prices racing away and putting ownership beyond the reach of many ‘ordinary’ people. 

“Even with these price corrections, London is still the most expensive place to buy property. There remains a significant gap between incomes and property prices, although with lenders keen to lend and offering good rates at high loan to values, there is a glimmer of hope for those struggling to pull together the necessary deposit.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says that sellers need to be more realistic. 

“On the ground, we are seeing pent-up demand drip-feeding back into the market, but many sellers buoyed by significant equity are still finding it difficult to accept the realities of today’s new norm,” he reports.

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