House prices grew at their fastest rate this year during the month of February, up an average of 0.6 per cent, double January’s rate.
However, the latest index from Your Move found that annually, house price inflation continued to fall, dropping to 2.4 per cent, pitting it at the lowest rate since 2013. Although estimated transactions were up on a yearly basis in comparison to 2015 and 2013, they were down 0.4 per cent in comparison to January, at 62,000. The market has seen a strong start to 2017, however a spike in house prices spurred by the Stamp Duty hike in April last year has skewed annual figures somewhat.
On a local level, Merseyside and Birmingham have come out on top. They have seen peak prices of 5 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively. Whilst demand from young professionals has fuelled Liverpool’s desirability, Birmingham’s regeneration and healthy job market has seen it become an increasingly popular location for property investment. Regionally, the East of England is performing well, up 5.9 per cent. Commuter hotspots continue to impress, with Luton and Essex reaching new top price rises of 10.4 per cent and 6 per cent respectively in the last year.
In a trend that shows great contrast to the last few months, the 11 most expensive London boroughs saw an average inflation in house prices of 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis, double that of the capital as a whole. By comparison, inflation in the cheaper boroughs was more subdued, with only Havering and Barking and Dagenham recording growth over 1 per cent. Across the city as a whole, average prices were up merely 2.1 per cent year on year, the lowest rise in five years.
Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, Oliver Blake, said: It’s an encouraging start to 2017. We’ve seen the strongest house price growth in a year, the emergence of the promised Northern Powerhouse and the first tentative signs of a recovery in our highest priced properties in London. The good news too is that the number of first time buyers grew last year and house building was up – although home ownership is now at its lowest level in over three decades.’