Property expert Kate Faulkner gives her summary of April 2015’s property prices and looks at what the indices reported throughout the month.
The house price indices looked at range from Rightmove, which records asking prices, to Land Registry, which reports sold property prices.
Kate comments on the property price report headlines: “It’s great to see we have a much healthier market in 2015. Although most places are still stuck with a shortage of homes, especially versus the number of agents fighting for business, we have a market that is moving, but not too fast and not too slow at the moment.
“And better still, it’s being driven mostly by first time buyers getting themselves on the ladder, relieving some of the pressure on rental stock, or mum and dad’s house!
“The other good news is that it is driving more sales of new builds. I haven’t seen so many new build sites buzzing with activity as I drive/train it up and down the country since the start of the credit crunch; it’s great to see.
“Property and moving home is good for the national and local economy and most importantly, good for skilled, flexible jobs too.”
- Rightmove: “House prices close to all-time high – will ‘granlords’ drive them higher?”
- Home.co.uk: “Home prices take a spring leap.”
- NAEA: “A third of all house sales made to first time buyers.”
- RICS: “Steadier demand and tight supply push price expectations higher.”
- Halifax: “House prices in the three months to March were 2.6% higher than in the previous three months.”
- Agency Express: “Confidence continues.”
- Land Registry: “The February data shows a monthly price increase of 0.5%.”
Average property prices vary greatly around the country, so Kate explains why we should observe the market across the UK: “As always, there is a big difference from one location to another. It does seem that the property price market continues to move in waves, with huge ones hitting London over the last few years, which have now calmed down.
“Interestingly though, we aren’t seeing quite that growth spreading to other areas and a few years off the market low back in 2009 or 2013. In some places, for many in negative equity, it must look like a bit of a mountain for property prices to recover, which will still hold back stock which might otherwise have come onto the market.”1
The indices and regional differences
- Home.co.uk: “Home prices have risen in all English regions, Scotland and Wales over the last month, reflecting widespread positive sentiment across the UK. Price rises are also surging in East Anglia and Scotland. Spring optimism abounds and even in the least well performing areas of the North East and Wales, prices have risen 0.4% and 0.3% respectively since February. (Mar 15).”
- RICS: “London remains the only region where more surveyors are reporting prices to have fallen rather than risen over the past three months. However, even in the capital the rate of decline has moderated substantially; a net balance of 28% of respondents in London are now reporting falling prices versus 46% in January. Northern Ireland and Scotland continue to outperform all other areas in terms of price growth thanks, in part, to the resilience of demand. (Feb 15).”
- Hometrack: “At a city level, the annual rate of growth ranges from 3.7% in Newcastle to 12.9% in London. The main trend is a continued slowdown in growth in the higher value cities while price growth continues to pick up momentum in regional cities. In the last quarter the highest growth rates have been registered in Glasgow and Liverpool where average values are still 13% and 15% below peak. House price growth is holding up better than expected in London where house prices have grown by an average of 0.9% per month in the last quarter compared to just 0.1% in the final quarter of 2014. The impetus for house price growth in London is coming from outer London markets and the surrounding commuter areas. In central London small, single digit price falls are now being registered after very rapid price rises in the last five years. (Feb 15).”
- Land Registry: “The region with the most significant annual price increase is London, with a movement of 13.1%. North West saw the lowest annual price growth with a movement of 0.7%. North East experienced the greatest monthly price rise with a movement of 6.2%. North West also saw the largest monthly decrease with a fall of 1.7%. (Feb 15).”