House prices in England and Wales reached a peak during May despite General Election uncertainty.
Average UK house prices were up 0.3 per cent in May, reaching a peak of £303,200. The value of the average home has risen by a sizeable 4.8 per cent in the last 12 months, a total equivalent to £13,934.
Whilst transaction levels were slightly lower than usual, transaction activity remained relatively strong, up 6 per cent on April. May allegedly saw 62,500 sales. Whilst there has been a significant slowdown in activity in the South East and East of England, a resilient performance in the North is beginning to offset this, rendering nationwide performance stable.
Regionally, the West Midlands has secured its position as the UK’s property hotspot, leading annual house price growth for the third consecutive month. Prices are up 5.1 per cent in the year to April, although a 0.7 per cent fall was recorded over the month. Shropshire continued to lead the growth in the region, with prices up 7.4 per cent.
Overall, every region in England and Wales has seen price growth in the last year, with the East of England matching the West Midlands, and setting a new peak. The East Midlands, South West and South East have also seen strong growth, up 4.4 per cent, 4.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.
London has seen a slowdown in transactions on an annual basis. The average price in the capital at the end of April was £615,838, up 0.1 per cent on the month before. Sales in the three months to the end of April are now 29 per cent lower year on year.
Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, Oliver Blake, said: ‘There was a lot of talk about housing from the parties in their election manifestos it’s now time for those words to be put into action. The market remains resilient and there’s encouraging activity in the North, but we need to urgently address the serious blockages in house building holding back labour mobility and economic competitiveness in too many areas of the country.’