Gumersalls Solicitors Epsom News

Homebuyers wanting to get on the property ladder might have noticed house prices creeping up over the last year, as average values have now reached £234,000.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) UK House Price Index, the cost of buying a property in Britain rose by 1.3 per cent from September 2018 to 2019.

This took average house prices in England to £251,000, although they are much less expensive in Wales (£164,000), Scotland (£155,000), and Northern Ireland (£140,000).

While the report showed house prices have increased over the last 12 months, they remained unchained from August to September 2019.

It stated: “Over the last three years, there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England.”

Indeed, property values in England rose by one per cent between September 2018 and 2019, while they soared by 2.6 per cent in Wales, 2.4 per cent in Scotland and four per cent in Northern Ireland during the same timeframe.

In London, house prices actually dropped by 0.4 per cent over the year, including a 0.1 per cent decline from August to September 2019. Despite this, property values in the capital are still the highest in the UK, averaging at £474,601 last month.

The east of England also experienced a fall in values, dropping by 0.4 per cent over the month and 0.2 per cent over the year, taking average house prices to £291,993 by September 2019.

These fluctuating figures demonstrate uncertainty in the property market, with some areas experiencing growth and others affected by a downturn in buyer activity. This could be due to the indeterminate outcome of Brexit, with the government trying to pass a deal to leave the European Union (EU) with no success.

Managing director of Halifax Russell Galley recently commented on data that showed a 0.1 per cent decline in values between September and October this year, suggesting Brexit could be having an impact on the country’s housing sector.

He stated: “There is evidence of consumers erring on the side of caution.”

Halifax’s House Price Index also showed a modest 0.9 per cent annual rise in property values, leading Mr Galley to say: “Activity levels and price growth will remain subdued while the UK navigates political and economic uncertainty.”

Despite this, there are still Brits purchasing properties, with Bank of England figures showing mortgage approvals rose by 0.4 per cent in September and 0.6 per cent over the year. Therefore, people are still keen on getting on, or moving up, the property ladder regardless of the wider political picture.

This is also in spite of deposits for first-time buyers (FTBs) having risen by 52 per cent over the last ten years, making it even more difficult for hopeful purchasers to get the keys to their own residence.

According to Halifax, the average downpayment for a first home is £41,099, which is 18 per cent of the entire house price. In comparison, it was just £27,059 in 2009.

Those going ahead with a property purchase need to get in touch with conveyancing solicitors in Epsom to oversee the legal side of the process.