ONS Releases Annual House Price Index
The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the rate of house price increases has slowed to 5.5% in April, down from 9.6% in March this year.
A reduction of £5,000 in the asking price of homes in London, where a property now costs £493,000 on average, has been attributed to the deceleration. On a more positive note, however, increases in the average asking price for homes in the East and South East have led to an overall increase in asking prices across England.
Pressure on first time buyers remains high with the average price paid for properties being 5.8% higher in April 2015 compared to the same time last year. Owner-occupiers (existing owners) fared no better, paying on average 5.4% more for the same period.
The ONS report states: “April’s figures are a continuation of the softening of the housing market that has been evident since the third quarter of 2014. Since September 2014, the rate of annual house price inflation has been declining gently, subsiding from 12.1% to 5.5% in the latest data. This easing is reflected in a number of indicators of the housing market, which suggest demand and supply are now more balanced than in recent months.”
Whilst these figures are for the whole country, it will be interesting to see how house prices have performed on a more local level when the Small Area House Price report is published.