Annual house price growth dropped to its lowest rate in seven years in February, according to the latest official House Price Index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Land Registry.
The average house price in the UK increased by 0.6% in the year to February, which is down from 1.7% in January. This is the lowest rate of annual house price growth since September 2012, when it stood at 0.4%.
Over the past two years, there has been a slowdown in UK house price inflation, driven mainly by a decline in the south and east of England.
The lowest annual house price growth was seen in London in February, where the average property value fell by 3.8% – down from -2.2% in the previous month. The South East followed, with a decrease of 1.8% over the year.
The average UK house price in February was £226,000. This is £1,000 higher than the same month of 2018. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the typical property value dropped by 0.8% between January and February, compared with an increase of 0.3% during the same period of last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average house price fell by 0.4% between January and February 2019.
In England, the typical property value rose by 0.4% in the 12 months to February, which is down from 1.4% in the previous month. House prices in Scotland dropped by an average of 0.2% over the same period – down from an increase of 2.4% in the year to January. A typical home in Scotland is now worth £146,000.
Annual house price growth in February was strongest in Wales, at an average of 4.1%, taking the typical value to £160,000. Northern Ireland’s house prices rose by an average of 5.5% in the year to the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018. Northern Ireland remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in, at an average cost of £137,000.
The lowest annual house price growth in England was recorded in London in February, where the typical property value actually fell by 3.8%. This is down from -2.2% in January. The South East followed, where prices dropped by an average of 1.8% over the 12 months to February – its first decline since October 2011.
The North West recorded the highest annual growth, at an average of 4.0% in the year to February. The West Midlands followed (2.9%).
While house prices in London fell over the year, the region remains the most expensive place to buy a property in the country, at an average value of £460,000. The South East and East of England follow, at £316,000 and £290,000 respectively.
The North East continues to boast the lowest average house price, at £125,000, and is the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak.