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Average UK house price edges down from previous peak

The average UK house price edged down in November from a previous record high, according to official figures.

Property prices increased by 10.3% in the year to November 2022, slowing from 12.4% annual growth in October 2022, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The typical UK house price in November was £295,000, which was £28,000 higher than a year earlier but a slight decrease from the previous month’s record high of £296,000, according to the ONS.

Average house prices increased over the year to £315,000 (a 10.9% annual increase) in England, to £220,000 in Wales (10.7%), to £191,000 in Scotland (5.5%) and to £176,000 in Northern Ireland (10.7%).

The report said that recent annual percentage changes in house prices have been volatile because of volatility in prices in 2021 amid changes to stamp duty.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

ONS head of housing market indices, Aimee North, said: “Annual house price inflation, measured using final transaction prices, slowed in November.

“There were also monthly decreases for average house prices in England, Wales and Scotland, although the average UK house price remains higher than the same period a year ago.

“While London remains the slowest growing English region, Scotland’s annual growth was slower than London. The North West showed the highest annual growth in the year to November 2022.”

Within England, the North West was the region with the highest annual house price inflation in November, with a 13.5% increase.

London’s average house prices remain the most expensive of any region in the UK, with an average price of £542,000 in November 2022.

London was the English region with the lowest annual house price inflation, with average prices increasing by 6.3% in the year to November.

Private rental figures released by the ONS on Wednesday showed prices paid by UK tenants jumped by 4.2% in the 12 months to December 2022, accelerating from 4.0% in the 12 months to November 2022.

The latest figure was the largest annual percentage change since the records started in January 2016.

Annual private rental prices increased by 4.1% in England, 3.5% in Wales and 4.4% in Scotland in the 12 months to December.

Within England, the East Midlands recorded the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices in the 12 months to December (5.0%), while the North East and the South East had the lowest (3.8%).

Gareth Atkins, managing director, lettings, at estate agent Foxtons, said: “Looking forward, London is starting 2023 with comparable levels of rental demand and supply to 2022, which might indicate a similarly strong market to 2022’s first quarter.

“However, I suspect we’ll see the market rise more steadily than last year’s spikes, which is more akin to pre-pandemic seasonality.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent, said: “On the ground, since our return to work nearly three weeks ago, we have noticed the release of some pent-up demand now mortgage rates have begun to fall.”

Roger Evans, director of home finance distribution at Gatehouse Bank, said: “The property market is slowly becoming more favourable for buyers in some areas as rates stabilise a little following the turbulence of 2022.”

Jason Tebb, chief executive officer of property search website OnTheMarket.com, said: “Continuing upheaval, changes in the macro-economic climate and the chatter around mortgage rates, with fixes in particular much higher than borrowers have become accustomed to, are all bound to have affected the confidence of the average property-seeker.

“That said, while the market continues to rebalance, it is doing so in a reassuringly measured way rather than a drastic readjustment.”