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Hometrack’s inaugural UK Cities House Price Index reveals average house prices have grown between £61,000 and £5,000 in the 12 months to September 2014. The strongest performing cities are in southern England. In percentage terms, house price growth has ranged from 18.1% in London to 4.3% in Glasgow.
Hometrack’s new city level house price indices track the relative performance of house prices at a city and ‘city region’ level.
All 20 cities covered by the index have registered an increase in the annual rate of house price inflation (fig.1) with the exception of Aberdeen where the market is slowing off a high base.
London and Cambridge are registering the highest rate of annual growth at 18.1% and 17.9% respectively. Glasgow and Leicester are registering the slowest annual growth.
Fourteen of the cities are registering growth below the UK average of 9.0%. All of these cities are outside southern England with the exception of Bournemouth.
Much of the recent recovery in house prices outside the influence of London’s ‘city region’ has occurred in the last 18 months on improved consumer confidence and low mortgage rates.
Pent-up demand has fed back into the market but the rates of growth in most major conurbations outside London are around 5-7% compared to a UK average of 9% which is being influenced by the strength of house price growth in London.
UK house price inflation grew from 8.9% in August to 9.0% in September (fig. 2). The month-on-month rate has slowed since the spring with a 0.4% increase in September compared to 1.0% in April.
The average UK house price has grown over £15,000 in the last 12 months
The London city index recorded the first fall in the annual rate of growth for 18 months – declining off a high base from 18.9% in August to 18.1% in September. The slowdown has been more marked at a month-on-month level - average house prices in London grew by 0.4% in September, compared to an increase of 2.2% in April.
Other cities exhibiting a slowdown in the annual rate of growth are Oxford, Belfast and Aberdeen. Those where the headline rate of growth is still rising include Edinburgh and Glasgow, both off a low base.
The near term outlook is for a continued slowdown in London, where house prices are almost 30% ahead of 2007 levels. International demand has weakened on a variety of tax changes and a stronger pound. The level of absolute prices and the impact of the mortgage market review are also starting to cool domestic demand for housing.
Across the rest of the cities we expect levels of house price inflation to moderate. While house prices across all cities have bounced back in the last 12 months there is no evidence of any runaway acceleration in house prices. The majority of city housing markets are starting to register a levelling off in the rate of growth.
This month’s Cities Index shows a continuation of the strong end to 2019. City house price growth is at a two-year high, at 3.9%. Coupled with a bounce in demand, which at 26% far exceeds the traditional new year boost, we see green shoots of returning market optimism. At a regional level, affordability of local stock is driving growth forecasts for Northern and Midlands cities, while in the South, the picture is more subdued.
Average UK city house prices have increased at an annual average rate of 4.4% per annum. While price falls in the latter part of 2018 suppressed the annual growth rate, these have dropped out of the annual growth calculation and explain the increase in the current annual rate of growth. The outlook for 2020 will be driven by affordability factors. We expect city house prices to increase by +3% over 2020 with above average growth in the most affordable cities and below average growth in cities across London and southern England.
UK city house price inflation is higher as prices start to firm up in London and Southern England. Large regional cities continue to post above average price growth on the back of rising demand and attractive affordability, supported by low mortgage rates. London is experiencing its highest rate of growth for 2 years and follows a period of modest price falls.
HPI is currently running at +2.4%, half the average growth over the last five years, and below average earnings growth. Time to sell has hit a 3 year high, while discount to asking price has widened across UK cities. Despite this, underlying market conditions still vary widely across large areas of the country.