UK house prices increased by 5.2% in the year to July 2015, down from 5.7% in the year to June 2015, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.
Its latest house price index found that house price annual inflation was 5.6% in England, 0.3% in Wales, 7.4% in Northern Ireland and -1.3% in Scotland.
Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in the East (8.3%) and the South East (6.7%).Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 4.4% in the 12 months to July 2015.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.8% between June and July 2015.
In addition, in July 2015, prices paid by first-time buyers were 4.4% higher on average than in July 2014. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 5.5% for the same period.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: “London usually leads the charge in terms of UK house price growth, but it’s been kicked into touch for a few months now by improvements in the East and the South East. Nevertheless, property values in the capital are steadily gaining ground and are comfortably above where they were last summer when 2014’s energetic first half started running out of steam.
“However, the property market in London has evaded a number of challenges – such as the threat of Mansion Tax and coming to terms with the Stamp Duty reforms – in the last year and emerged all the stronger for it. It remains a top destination for buyers and investors alike, and will shortly revel in the global spotlight afforded it by the Rugby World Cup kicking off later this week.
“Almost half a million visitors are expected to come to London during the six-week tournament, placing it in to the international shop window once again.”