Few insights from latest figures
The latest UK House Price Index, released this week, shows an annual rise of 4.7% across the UK (figures for May 2017). The average property price now stands at £220,713.
Figures for individual regions vary considerably. The East of England experienced the highest increase, at 7.5%, while the figure for the North East was just 1.6%. London saw a rise of 3%.
The overall number of property transactions increased 13.4% compared to May 2016. However, it’s hard to extrapolate any meaningful insights from figures measured against April or May 2016. The introduction of higher rate SDLT on second properties in April last year meant a surge in demand prior to the change, with a sharp drop-off in May. So the apparently large increase in transactions is not necessarily significant.
Although it’s harder to detect genuine trends, monthly comparisons are probably a truer reflection of the state of the property market. The first 5 months of 2017 saw both increases and decreases in house prices (in England):
January: + 0.8%
February: + 0.6%
March: – 0.6%
April: + 1.6%
May: + 0.5%
Combined with record low numbers of properties on estate agents’ books, there does appear to something of a slowdown.
PM Property Lawyers MD, Harvey Harding, comments, “Having been in the industry for a number of years, the present market very much feels ‘normal’ and no one seems to be overly deterred by Brexit or the uncertainties surrounding it.’