The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that UK house prices grew by 1.2% in the year to May 2019, down from 1.5% in the year to April 2019.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK increased by 0.1% between April 2019 and May 2019, compared with a rise of 0.4% during the same period a year earlier (April 2018 and May 2018).
The ONS said the average price of a property in the UK in May was £229,431.
House price growth was strongest in the North West where prices increased by 3.4% in the year to May 2019, up from 3.3% in the year to April 2019. The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 4.4% over the year to May 2019, down from a fall of 1.7% in April 2019.
Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “House price growth is slowing as sentiment continues to weaken, partly as a result of Brexit uncertainty. While prices fell in London by 4.4% over the year to May 2019, affordability is still an issue for those buying in the capital and south east as prices remain relatively high compared to incomes.
“Mortgage rates remain low and continue to support transactions. Remortgaging remains strong as many people stay and improve rather than footing the considerable bill for a move to another address.”
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, added: “Such a punishing drop in London house prices is a reminder that the capital’s correction is still underway. Above all, it suggests the modest slide in the year to April, rather than the breathtaking fall that followed it, may have been the blip.
“The scale of London’s fall – the largest seen since the recessionary plunge of almost a decade ago – is also a reminder of the definitive shift in the dynamic in the capital.
“Buyers are now setting the tempo, dictating terms in price negotiations and frequently able to secure additional discounts on properties that are already reduced.
“London’s size, and the scale of its price falls, have coloured the national average. But this also masks the respectable rates of price growth being seen elsewhere. Three English regions are now enjoying an annual pace of growth approaching, or above, 3%.
“Such decent growth cannot be dismissed as a mere byproduct of scarce supply. It’s also a testament to solid buyer demand, and the willingness of would-be buyers to get off the fence now they detect strong value.
“With the best performing regions balancing out London’s weakness to a degree, the fear now is that the delicate equilibrium could be upset if the country marches closer to a ‘no-deal’ Brexit in October.”