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Property Prices Growing at Half the Last 5-Year Average

Year-on-year prices edge up by just 2.4% whilst the average time to sell is at its highest for 3 years

Leicester, Manchester and Liverpool recording house price increases of more than 4% year-on-year

Annual house price growth in the UK is running at significantly lower than the average recorded over the last five years, the latest index by Hometrack and Zoopla reveals.

In the 12 months to September, property prices increased by just 2.4% which according to the index is half the most recent five-year average and below the 3.8% average growth in earnings.

Just three cities posted growth of more than 4%; Leicester (4.5%), Manchester (4.4%) and Liverpool (4.3%). Conversely, Aberdeen has the worst performance in the year with prices declining by 5.5%.

Although Brexit uncertainty is having an effect on buyers, the report notes that housing affordability, particularly the costs involved with moving, are a more important issue.

With prices rising and stretched affordability, the average time to sell a home in the UK has reached a 3-year high of 12 weeks, whilst asking price discounts have increased to an average of 3.8%.

In addition, the index suggests that property prices should see a modest lift should the political outlook become clearer and Brexit is resolved following the impending General Election in December.

The Southern regions, however, are expected to display weak performance in the near future until prices align with what buyers can or are willing to pay, whilst London is reportedly in its third year of a re-pricing phase.

“However, as we highlight in this report, there are large parts of the country where housing affordability remains attractive and continued economic growth is supporting housing demand,” the report concludes, “leading to shorter sales periods and lower discounts to asking prices.”

Rightmove’s latest house price index suggests that buyer numbers are broadly stable, whilst the number of fall-throughs has declined to its lowest level in four years.

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