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Guaranteed Rent | UK’s property market imbalance laid bare: House prices jump 3.4% in London but slump 11.7% in Northern Ireland

Guaranteed Rent | UK’s property market imbalance laid bare: House prices jump 3.4% in London but slump 11.7% in Northern Ireland

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The imbalance in Britain’s property market was laid bare today by official figures showing house prices were up 1.5 per cent in the year to October – but more than half of the rise was delivered by London and the South East.
The ONS figures, which lag other major house price reports by at least a month, showed a 0.2 per cent monthly rise to a UK average of £231,000.
As well as growth in London, the increases in England were fuelled by a 3.1 per cent annual rise in Yorkshire and the Humber while prices were flat in the North East and fell 0.8 per cent in the West Midlands, the ONS said.

By stark contrast, prices plummeted by 11.7 per cent in Northern Ireland year on year, continuing a long-running trend of sharp decreases and taking average prices to £124,000.Guaranteed Rent
Analysts have put the falls in Northern Ireland down to the market readjusting following a period of strong price increases before the economic crisis struck. House prices have consistently fallen in Northern Ireland since February 2008, the ONS said.

Prices in Scotland are also 2.2 per cent lower than they were a year ago, at £176,000 on average.
But while London accounted for 0.7 per cent of the 1.5 per cent annual rise, the market in the capital is slowing. The ONS reported that year-on-year house price growth in London slowed, from 5.2 per cent in September to 3.4 per cent by October.
The annual rate of house price growth has been dropping across the UK in recent months, from a peak of 2.3 per cent in May and June.

The ONS index is based on mortgage data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and puts the average house price far higher than other rival reports. The Land Registry shows an England and Wales average of £161,605 in October, while Halifax records a UK average of £160,879 in November.
The latest figures follow predictions from property search website Rightmove that house price growth will become less skewed towards London next year, with stronger market conditions in the surrounding southern regions emerging.Guaranteed Rent
Independent buying agent Gabby Adler said: ‘London’s strong performance continues to drive the housing market, a trend which is expected to carry on into next year, while in other parts of the country there have been considerable falls in values.
‘Yet even in London we are seeing price reductions as vendors become more realistic on pricing and realise what they have to do to achieve a sale in a difficult market.’

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The year-on-year increase across the UK was driven by annual growth of 1.8 per cent in England, taking typical prices to £239,000, and 2.8 per cent in Wales, with prices reaching around £159,000.
The Government launched a multibillion-pound scheme in August to encourage lending to households and businesses. The number of mortgages on the market has increased by around a fifth since this time and several lenders have slashed their mortgage rates.
Mortgage approval numbers for home buyers in October reached their highest since the start of the year, according to Bank of England figures, in further signs that funding for the lending scheme is having an effect.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has said it expects the housing market to ‘feel more stable and positive’ next year.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘The mortgage market is still constrained but is showing signs of easing, which will have a positive effect on the housing market.
‘The funding for the lending scheme continues to progress but it is a slow burner and no overnight solution for the woes of the market.’
Mr Harris said he expects to see further cuts to mortgage rates early next year but it would take a while before people with smaller deposits see a significant improvement.
Lenders have also toughened their borrowing criteria amid the uncertain economy.
‘The problem first-time buyers will have is that while rates may come down, criteria are likely to remain tight. So meeting these could be the issue.’

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