What's happening with house prices as the summer comes to a close?

publication date: Sep 15, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Kate's September 14 property price summary for Halifax, Nationwide and Land Registry indices

Each month I take a look at the various property price indicies in order to see what they are reporting about the state of the housing market in the UK. The indices range from Rightmove which only records asking prices through to Land Registry which is ‘sold property price’s but only tells us what has happened in the past.

It’s not always the best idea to read too much into the following headlines as they are often written to secure PR in the news, so can sometimes be ‘over the top'. I tend to read ‘between the lines’ so here’s my summary of the report headlines.

Download my comprehensive property price summary for September

Kate Faulkner comments on Report Headlines:
“Well what a big surprise, 18 months of rapid house price growth in the Capital appears to be slowing – just as it did after the last recession! Tough for FTBs though, all London Boroughs now have property averages above £250k, so many being penalised for saving for a deposit with a £7,500 tax bill. The rest of the country though continues to grow in value at a better pace and most reports suggest more properties coming onto the market for sale, so a nice ‘good news’ story for all - unless you are investor keen to ‘bag a bargain’.”

Actual Headlines
“Largest ever drop in August asking prices as ‘Summer Sales’ kick in.”

Home.co.uk “Rising supply puts the brakes on price rises.”

NAEA “The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) housing market report 

presented a stable picture in July.”

Hometrack “Hometrack Housing Survey reveals house price plateau on weaker demand.”

RICS “Rotation away from the capital continues.”

Nationwide “House price growth edges up in August.”

Halifax "House prices in the three months to August were 3.0% higher than to May”

Acadata “Mind the gap: London and South East skew average house prices by record £89,000”

Land Registry“The July data demonstrates a monthly price change of 1.7%.”

It can be useful to know the national average house price but it isn't always the best measure of what prices are likely to be where you live, for example average prices in London are going to be a lot higher than those in Middlesbrough. Therefore, for those taking an interest in the property market, a summary of the regional property prices is important, here's mine:-

Download my comprehenseive property price summary for September

Kate's comments on Regional Price Differences:
“The regional data shows that property price averages are really useless as far as buyers and sellers are concerned. So the new communication job for estate agents post the credit crunch is to show local media and the public how much they understand property prices for individual properties on specific roads – using evidence from sold property price data which you can now use to give people property price trends dating back to 2000.”

Here's a summary of what the indices are saying about regional property prices
“Home prices actually dipped during the last month in the relatively strong regional markets of the South East, South West, East Anglia and Yorkshire for the first time this year (by just 0.1% overall), and this is further evidence of a cooling market. Greater London posted a more muted month-on-month price rise of 0.3%. Price rises in other English regions, Scotland and Wales since July were all similarly modest (0.2% or less), with the exception of the East Midlands which jumped 0.5%. (Aug 14)”

Hometrack “House price growth across the London market continues to under-perform the rest of England and Wales. Growth flat-lined once again in August and just 11% of postcodes registered month on month price increase. This compares to prices rising across 19% of markets outside London with the impetus for growth coming from commuter towns across the greater South East. (Aug 14)”

Acadata “Our regional figures give clear support to a view of a two speed market (or at least two speeds!). In July prices fell or were static on an annual basis in all regions, except for Greater London, the South East and East Anglia”. (Aug 14)”

Land Registry “The region with the most significant annual price increase is London with a movement of 19.3 per cent. North East saw the lowest annual price growth of 2.0 per cent. London also experienced the greatest monthly price rise of 3.3 per cent. Yorkshire & The Humber saw the only monthly price fall with a movement of -0.6 per cent. (July 14)”

Download my comprehensive property price summary for September

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