London house prices fall at fastest rate in 10 years

17 Juillet, 2019, 14:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • The property market is cooling

Consumer price inflation in the United Kingdom has remained steady at 2.0% in June year-on-year, the National Office of Statistics (ONS) said Wednesday, a moderate level allows the purchasing power of households to increase.

Housing market experts blamed Brexit uncertainty combined with "punitive" stamp duty costs.

House prices in the U.K.as a whole rose 1.2% on the year in May, the ONS said, down from 1.5% in April and 3.1% in May last year.

Diesel prices also improved, falling by 1.5p per litre in June against a year ago, to an average of 134.3p per litre.

Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "Looking ahead, CPI inflation likely will fall a bit below the 2% target in the second half of this year as energy's contribution continues to decline".

Rightmove's July house price index report predicted a "buyers' market" in the second half of 2019.

"However, London experienced its biggest annual fall since August 2009".

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United Kingdom property prices were nearly flat between May and June as fears continue to build of a no-deal Brexit in October, which the Bank of England has warned could cause property prices to crash.

The North West was the English region with the highest annual house price growth in May, with values increasing by 3.4%.

"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. But Mark Carney and his fellow rate-setters are unlikely to place too great a weight on this, with economic data still very much of secondary importance given that Brexit uncertainty continues to loom large". "Re-mortgaging remains strong as many people stay and improve rather than footing the considerable bill for a move to another address".

A cooler property market is likely to be welcomed by those looking to buy, but analysts are likely to see it as yet another warning sign of increased slowdown in the wider United Kingdom economy just months before the Brexit date in October.

This number will please policy-makers at the Bank of England who are tasked with targeting an inflation rate of 2.0% and it therefore suggests there is little reason to expect an imminent rise in interest rates.

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves, said: "Although price growth may remain muted, these "slower" markets are still home to the highest property prices in the United Kingdom".

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