House prices have started to fall nationally, by an average of 0.2%, in the year to February, following 87 months of positive growth, according to the latest Asking Price Index from Home.co.uk.
Overall house price growth in England and Wales has not slipped into the red since November 2011, the report shows. In February last year, the average house price increased by 2.3% year-on-year.
The greatest monthly decline in February was recorded in the South West (0.6%), as supply outweighs demand.
Sliding house prices in London, the South East, South West and East of England have served to push down the national average into the red year-on-year, Home reports. London’s loss over the past 12 months has now edged up to 3.3%, and 6.9% since the start of the slide in May 2016.
Asking prices in the South East and East are now dropping faster, with losses increasing to 2.5% and 1.8% respectively. In January, the South West became the last domino to fall, with prices in the region now down by an average of 0.5% on February 2018.
These dreary national figures do, however, obscure significant growth in other regions further north and west. Growth has been nowhere more prevalent than in Wales and the West Midlands, where house prices are now 6.4% and 5.0% higher than they were a year ago, on average. The North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber have also pushed up their average asking prices by 4.3% and 3.4% respectively over the last 12 months.
However, the West and East Midland markets are slowing, as shown in their average time on market increases. Housing supply in these regions has risen by 10% and 13% respectively, with Home expecting this to increase further over the coming months, as investors attempt to cash out at the top. This indicates that these two regions will be the next dominoes to fall (the East Midlands first), and would be consistent with market behaviour observed previously when the East and South East markets peaked.
Overall, the supply of homes for sale in the UK rose by 4% in the year to February, with total stock up by 10.1%.
The largest supply increases were seen in the West Midlands (10%), Scotland (13%) and the East Midlands (13%).
Supply in London, on the other hand, has dropped by 13% year-on-year.
The typical time on market for homes in England and Wales rose to 114 days in February, which is six days longer than in the same month of 2018.
The average time on market continues to rise in London (16%), the South West (16%), South East (19%) and East of England (19%), as prices fall in each region.
26.3% more properties were reduced in price while on the market in January, compared to the same month of last year.