Another revelation of house price figures, this time from the Office for National Statistics which calculates its results using data from HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland, has set the national average property value at £225,000.
Undoubtedly, the north-west and the West Midlands are the two regions in the UK that have seen the strongest house price growth and the best performing property markets recently, and both are tipped to continue to outperform the rest of the country over the coming years.
While earlier this week Rightmove revealed that the north-west had seen the highest annual house price gain so far this year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which uses slightly different measures and weights to calculate its house price index, has put the West Midlands in the top spot.
Climbing and falling across the country
House prices in the West Midlands, according to the ONS, leapt by an impressive 7.3% between February 2017 and February 2018, far surpassing the UK average of 4.4%. The East Midlands was the next top performing region with a 6.3% increase.
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Nationally, year-on-year growth in February was slightly lower than last month’s 4.7% rise, bringing the average property price to £225,000 in the UK.
For the first time since the months following the financial crisis in 2009, London has seen a year-on-year house price decline after experiencing a slowdown for several months, according to ONS figures. Average prices in the capital fell by 1% in the year to February 2018, while property values have been declining monthly since mid-2016.
London homes are now worth an average £472,000, while the south-east has the next highest property prices at £322,000, followed by the east of England at £288,000.
The market is reviving
Sam Mitchell, chief executive of online estate agents HouseSimple, said that despite a difficult February and March for the market which was affected by the “Beast from the East”, the market had come back to life.
“We are now in the crucial spring period, and early indicators suggest we are going to see plenty of activity during the remainder of April and May.”
Mitchell added: “This is certainly the case in the north, in major urban areas such as Liverpool and Manchester, where the first time-buyer stamp duty boost has had the greatest impact. Buyers are showing more urgency to purchase. They are still looking for good value and savvy sellers will understand the market and price sensibly to get a quick offer.
“Even in the tougher London market, there are plenty of buyers, but they are price sensitive. However, a property priced attractively will still sell within a couple of days.”