UK house prices up 1.1% in February

Average house prices in the UK increased by 1.1% over the year to February 2020, down from 1.5% in January, new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

The latest ONS House Price Index suggested there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth over the last three years, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England.

The ONS announced the average UK house price was £230,000 in February – a figure £2,000 higher than in February 2019, while on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the data showed average house prices in the UK decreased by 0.6% between January and February this year, compared with a decrease of 0.3% over the same period 12 months ago.

The data also revealed that average house prices increased over the year across the UK, up by 0.8% in England to £246,000, by 3.4% in Wales to £164,000, by 2.5% in Scotland to £151,000 and by 2.5% in Northern Ireland to £140,000.

London was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 2.3% to £477,000 in the year to February 2020 – a figure up from 1.3% in January 2020 – while the index showed that the East of England saw the only negative annual growth rate, down by 1.0%, the first negative annual growth rate experienced by a UK region since November 2019.

Wayhome chief operating officer, Nigel Purves, commented: “As this index is tracking house prices in February, it doesn’t take into account the ongoing effects of Covid-19 and therefore the continuing impact on all walks of life.

“We therefore must monitor these figures closely over the next few months as they start to tell us more. In the meantime, protecting everyone’s health must be top of the agenda until we manage to come out the other side of this crisis.
 
“However, it is worth observing how much more critical the safety net that comes with homeownership, has become during this period. Once life returns to at least a degree of normality, it’s almost certain that more people will be longing for the security that comes with being a home owner. To help, we’ll need to see steps taken towards encouraging innovation in the property market which will help more people get onto the ladder.”

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