Industry reacts to latest House Price Index

The Land Registry and ONS have just released their final house price index for December 2016 showing an annual increase in house prices of 7.2%, with prices up 1.4% between November and December, to finish one of the toughest years in recent memory for UK property on a strong note.

Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, said, “There has been a number of sceptics where the state of the housing market in 2016 is concerned and although the likes of Halifax and Nationwide provide a snapshot of performance, the fact they are based on mortgage approval data, not cold hard completions, will always leave room for doubt.

Largest rise in UK house prices since March

But today’s data from the Land Registry provides a concrete view of how the market performed during a testing year and on the face of it, it held up very well all things considered.

Not only did prices see an increase of 7.2% annually, but heading into what is a quiet time of year for the market, an increase of 1.4% in prices and an uplift of 0.2% in transaction volume month on month, is a promising sign indeed for the year ahead.

Not only did the London market see healthy growth despite the changes to second home stamp duty tax brackets, but there is also positive signs across the rest of the nation. The market in Wales, in particular, has really suffered of late and so a 1% boost on November’s figures will be a welcome sign for Welsh homeowners.

This latest market insight should spur a renewed confidence in UK homeowners that we have very much weathered the storm and that UK property is an attractive a proposition as it has ever been, whether you are buying or selling.”

Rob Weaver, Director of Investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner, commented:

“The housing market may have plateaued during last summer but for the final two months of 2016, prices regained momentum. With December, in particular, seeing a higher than expected rise in annual prices, property demonstrated itself to be a robust investment once again in 2016.”

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the critical shortage in supply alongside ultra-cheap borrowing rates are supporting house prices and that looks set to continue. Until more properties are built for both buying and renting, the market for investors looks positive as prices continue to move upwards although overall at a gentler pace than before.

“While Prime Central London has hit something of a wall, outer London boroughs are still recording double-digit price growth. The Crossrail effect and certain regeneration areas seem to be having an impact. The closer we get to the stations opening next year, buyer demand should intensify by the attraction of shorter commuting times. Some foreign investors have set their eyes further afield, searching for enhanced yields in more affordable locations such as Manchester and other northern cities, shifting focus away from the capital while still taking advantage of the weakened pound.”

Jonathan Hopper, Managing Director of Garrington Property Finders, comments:

“After slowing to a stroll in the second half of the year, Britain’s property market ended 2016 at a sprint.”

“But impressive though December’s jump in annual price inflation was, few would bet on prices rising at such strong levels in 2017. With interest rates still at record lows, many buyers are looking beyond the Brexit headlines at their own finances, and deciding that now is the time to buy before rising property prices erode their purchasing power. With today’s further jump in consumer inflation likely to nudge the Bank of England into increasing interest rates in coming months, there’s a growing sense that the cheap mortgages won’t last, and this is spurring many buyers into action.”

Meanwhile, leading online estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has highlighted the worst places to live in the last year if you are a UK homeowner.

Using the latest and last data for 2016 from the Land Registry, eMoov looked at the areas of the UK where unlucky homeowners have seen prices fall annually, despite the market as a whole remaining resolute throughout the last year.

The lack of affordable homes is here to stay!

Across the whole of the UK, nowhere has made a worse investment for UK homeowners than the City of Aberdeen. Whilst many UK homeowners have seen the price of their property move positively north, prices on the Scottish east coast have plummeted by -9.81%, a loss of nearly £20,000 from its height of £185,848 last year.

Unfortunately for those in Scotland, the second worst place to have bought in the last year is Inverclyde, where prices have also seen a sharp decline of -7.63% in the last year.

Perhaps more surprisingly is the third worst location in the UK for a property investment in the last year. Whilst the average homeowner in the East of England has seen values increase by a notable 11.31%, the highest of all UK regions, homeowners in Cambridgeshire have paid the price of an over inflated market with prices falling by -5.12% in the last year. The highest decline of anywhere across England.

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