UK house prices hit new records but declines are expected

Average price of a home in October was 12.6 per cent higher on the year

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The average price of a house in Britain jumped by 12.6 per cent in October, compared with a year earlier, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The jump comes after 9.9 per cent increase in September, which was partly due to stamp duty changes last year, the ONS said.

Across the UK, the average house price in October was £33,000 ($40,657) higher at £296,000.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the average UK house price increased by 0.7 per cent between September and October, following an increase of 0.5 per cent in the previous month.

The news comes as the latest inflation data shows a fall in consumer price inflation (CPI) to 10.7 per cent in November, from 11.1 per cent the month before.

“Annual house price inflation increased in October, although this was mainly because of the sharp fall in house prices at the same time last year following the end of the stamp duty holiday.” said Aimee North, head of housing market indices at the ONS.

“London saw the lowest annual growth throughout the UK and was the only region to show a fall in average house prices between September and October 2022, while house prices in the north-east saw the highest annual growth.”

Experts still expect house prices to start falling significantly in the coming years. EPA

Nonetheless, experts still believe house prices will start to fall significantly in the coming years.

“When the spring market gets under way next March, mortgage rates will be more than two percentage points higher than at the same point in 2022", said Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.

“This will keep transaction volumes in check and means price declines will become more prevalent. Knight Frank expects UK prices to fall by 10 per cent over the next two years, taking them back to where they were in summer 2021.

“We think London prices will continue to underperform the rest of the country, with the exception of prime central areas, which will benefit from a higher proportion of cash buyers.”

Jamie Durham, an economist at PwC UK, said: “Given the current economic conditions, there is considerable uncertainty in the outlook for the housing market.

"However, stretched household finances, rising interest rates and a likely recession means a decline in house prices does look likely over the coming months.”

Rental market strength

The ONS said rental prices made their strongest gains in six years, driven by large gains in the rental markets in London and the East Midlands.

ONS data showed private rents paid by UK tenants rose by 4 per cent in the 12 months to November, up from 3.8 per cent in the 12 months to October, which is the biggest annual percentage change since the records started in January 2016.

Annual private rental prices increased by 3.9 per cent in England, 3.1 per cent in Wales and 4.4 per cent in Scotland in the 12 months to November.

In London, private rental prices were up by 3.5 per cent in the 12 months to November, the strongest annual percentage change since April 2016.

Updated: December 14, 2022, 11:59 AM