Residential house prices increased by 4.9% in the 12 months to April but pace of growth is easing
Annual property price growth has been lower than the average over the last five years, the latest UK Cities House Price Index by Hometrack reveals.
House prices were up 4.9% in April compared with the same month last year across the 20 cities tracked in the index. Whilst this growth rate is higher than the two-year average of 4.2%, it is under the 6.9% average during the last five.
Bristol was found to be the best performer for price growth over the last five years, with prices increasing by 8.9%, although this rate has since slowed to 4.9% in the 12 months to April.
Between February and April, house prices increased by 2.9%, a significant rise on Q4 2017 when prices declined by 0.5% due to price falls in London.
Hometrack found that all of the cities registering annual growth above the five-year average were in the Midlands, the North and Scotland, and expects prices to continue increasing due to the affordability of these regions.
The highest rates were in Manchester (7.7%), Leicester (7.4%), Edinburgh (7.2%), and Liverpool and Cardiff (6.8%).
Furthermore, the discounting from asking to final sale prices has narrowed in most these large regional cities, with Manchester and Birmingham both recording the smallest discounts of just 2.6%.
Conversely, the size of discounts in the South increased as a result of growing affordability issues, Brexit uncertainty and tax changes.
“The trends in relative house price growth and discounts from asking prices reveal how the housing cycle continues to unfold,” the index concludes.
“The pace of overall city level growth is losing momentum, in part a result of virtually static prices in London.”
According to a report by NAEA Propertymark, the number of prospective buyers registered with agency branches increased by 9% in April.