UK property prices rose by 5.2 per cent in the year until December 2017, according to the latest house price index from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
This marks an increase in comparison to the 5 per cent growth rate noted the month before. Despite this mild increase, the ONS confirmed that the annual growth rate for house prices has slowed slightly since mid-2016, although has remained around 5 per cent during 2017.
The average house in the UK was priced at £227,000 in December 2017. This represents a £16,000 increase on December 2016, and is up £1,000 on the previous month.
When split by country, ONS said that house prices rose by an average of 5 per cent in England over 2017, meaning that the average property in England now stands at £244,000. House prices increased by 5.4 per cent in Wales, and the average property in the country cost £154,000. In contrast, Scotland saw the average property increase in value by a sizeable 7.7 per cent over the year to reach £149,000.
Figures are calculated slightly differently in Northern Ireland. However, a 4.3 per cent increase was noted in the year until Quarter 4. The average property in the region now stands at £130,000.
London remained the most expensive region in England, with property prices at an average of £484,000. The South East followed closely behind at £322,000 with the East of England in third place at £290,000. The lowest average price was found in the North East, at £131,000.
However, prices in the capital grew at the slowest rate during 2017 in comparison to other regions, up by just 2.5 per cent in the year until December 2017. In comparison, prices in the South West were up 7.5 per cent.
Yorkshire and The Humber also experienced relatively slow house price growth, with property prices up just 2.8 per cent over the year.
Looking at individual districts, the ONS HPI found that Kensington & Chelsea remained the most expensive area of the UK to buy property. The average home in the area cost £1.2m. In contrast, Burnley was the cheapest area for investors with the average house costing just £78,000.
Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest ONS / Land Registry UK House Price Index: ‘As we previously anticipated, the South West has started to accelerate ahead of other English regions in the annual house price growth race, with prices rising by 7.5 per cent year-on-year in December. Our West Country branches expect this region to be a hotspot for further growth in 2018 – especially the middle market where some foresee a further 4 per cent rise in prices. The Cotswolds in particular will thrive this year as it continues to attract high levels of demand from families who have been outpriced by surrounding areas or are finding their homes in the Capital are no longer making more money than them and are now in search of a change of pace and lifestyle.’