Prices rising again month on month in England and Wales, latest index shows

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Prices rising again month on month in England and Wales, latest index shows

Annual price growth in England and Wales continues to slow but month on month values are rising again with growth led by the East and West Midlands, the latest index shows.

House prices rebounded in October, up 0.4% to an average of £304,433, the first monthly increase since February while year on year growth fell to just 1%, according to the latest house price index from Your Move.

Despite this, most regions continue to show growth, the exceptions being both the South East and North East, which show modest falls on an annual basis of 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

However, the report points out that with overall annual price growth well below the rate of inflation of 2.2%, house prices in England and Wales are seeing real term falls in most regions, and are now growing at their slowest rate in over six years, since April 2012.

The West Midlands and East Midlands are bucking the trend, however, with growth of 3.1% and 2.8% respectively. All regions have seen annual house price growth reduce in the last month, with the slowdown most pronounced in the North East, dropping by 1.7% to -0.2%, and in London and Wales, with growth slowing from 3.0% to 1.8% in both cases. I

But it adds that in other respects, fundamentals are favourable to house price growth as interest rates remain low, mortgage supply is good, the number of people in work is high, and average weekly earnings are up 2.4% annually.

Estimated sales for October 2018 were 6% down on the same month in 2017, but 2% higher than October 2016.

While the picture across England and Wales overall is of modest annual growth, the performance of the different regions in September varies more widely than it has in recent months.

The West Midlands recorded annual growth of 3.1% to a new peak of £206,671 and the East of England was up 2.8%. In some cities there was also strong growth with prices in Newport up 7.2%, Cardiff up 4%, Leicester up 3.8%, and Bristol up 3%.

Even in the weakest regions there are areas bucking the trend. The South East saw prices fall 0.4% in September and 0.1% on an annual basis but Your Move says that was partly down to the poor performance in Windsor and Maidenhead, where prices were down 8% annually, the biggest fall in the country.

However, in London annual price growth has slowed substantially in the last month, falling to just 1.8%, yet there has still been an increase of £10,889 in the last 12 months with the average price in London now standing at £620,571.

Across the capital it’s a mixed picture. At the top of the market, Kensington and Chelsea remains the most expensive borough with an average price of £1,754,706, down 0.8% on a year before.

The City of Westminster, in second, has lost ground, with prices down 14.4% to £1,439,917, the biggest annual fall while the City of London, in third place, recorded the biggest rise in London, with prices up 11%.

At the bottom of the market in London, the picture is similarly mixes. In Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, the cheapest two boroughs, prices increased year on year by 0.9% and 1.1% respectively and in Newham prices were down 9.3%.

On a monthly basis, prices in Brent increased by 2.4%, setting a new peak average price of £598,331, the only borough to see a monthly rise other than Waltham Forest. Brent recorded the second highest annual growth of 10.3%.