House Prices in Wales surge 4.8% as buyers rush to beat new Land Transaction Tax
- House price declines overall in the month, but strength in the regions and cities outside London
- North Somerset up 13.6% annually as Bristol boom spreads
- Property transactions slump by a quarter in April as weather hits house hunting
- High priced property suffers, with Windsor and Maidenhead seeing largest falls
House prices continue to slow. Prices are down for the third month in a row, and the annual rate of growth has now fallen for almost a solid year – 11 months in succession. It now stands at just 1%, down from 9% at its height in February 2016.
Many areas continue to prove resilient, however. Excluding London and the South East, prices in England and Wales remain 3% up on the same time last year, and only London is currently recording an annual fall in prices.
Overall, the average house price in England and Wales at the end of April stood at £302,252, up from £299,374 a year ago.
While annual price growth continues to fall, the decline is slowing. Whether the same is true for transactions remains to be seen: estimated sales of 50,000 in April were down by a quarter on March –significantly greater than the usual 5% seasonal decline.
Some of this is likely due to the “Beast from the East” at the end of February hitting house-hunting activity that would now be reaching fruition. However, muted activity is also underpinned by a real shortage of properties being put up for sale. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ New Instruction indicator for April continued to decline, and average stock levels on estate agents’ books remain close to all-time lows.
If the slowdown in the housing market persists keeping price growth low, it should at least help first time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder. As the report of the Intergenerational Commission published by the Resolution Foundation in May noted, four-in-ten millennial families at age 30 now live in private rented accommodation, compared to just one in ten for the baby boomers when they were the same age
Data source: LSL Property Services