What’s happening to property prices regionally?

publication date: Feb 21, 2013
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What’s happening to property prices regionally?

Regional House Prices

For anyone buying, selling or investing in a home, the national figures from property price indices are meaningless. It’s really what’s happening regionally and even down to a property on a street which can determine if now is a good time to buy, sell or invest in a property.

Dr Peter Williams, Chairman of Acadametrics comments “from a housing market perspective we end 2012 on a positive note, with the general consensus that 2013 will build on that. Of course all of this is at a national level. The picture is far less rosy at the regional and local level. History would suggest a recovery centred on London and the south-east along with selected areas elsewhere in England and Wales will slowly have an effect on areas outside the capital (although this could take some years)”.

For a much better picture on what’s happening in your local area, we track the major regional differences down to towns and city levels across the UK (see chart above).

Winners and Losers - House Prices by Region

From Northern Ireland’s perspective, Alan Brindle, UK Economist, Bank of Ireland UK says, “The overall average price of residential property in Northern Ireland for the fourth quarter of 2012 is virtually identical to that for the third quarter and highly comparable to the second quarter. The consistency between these figures implies a stabilisation of the housing market”.

In Scotland, there are two different pictures. Firstly, the Ros.Gov Index suggests Scottish prices are doing quite well, peaking at £160,000 in 2007 and currently nearly back to those levels at £158,000 in December 2012.

Acadametrics/LSL Scottish index suggests however that average prices in Scotland have fallen for five months in a row and now stand -4% below November 2011. Only 22% of local authority areas have seen prices rise in the last year. Gordon Fowlis, Regional Managing Director of YourMove comments “The first half of last year saw a slight recovery in prices, but it was cut short by a sharp squeeze on the mortgage fund available to banks, which led to a reduction in first time buyer numbers over the second half of the year.”  He does suggest though this may be about to change, Gordon continues: “There have been some very tentative signs of improvement, but they are only minor victories in a war that the housing market is a long way from winning”.

North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber which are highlighted in red property prices, like our economy, have gone into ‘double dip’ ie prices are currently heading downwards and are lower than they were in 2009.

Areas such as Wales, East Midlands and the West Midlands property prices are only just hanging on to properties being just above the 2009 lows, but have managed to remain there for the last two months.

Highest Property Price and Largest Falls (Regional Commentary)
According to the latest Land Registry figures, average house prices in North East Lincolnshire have experienced the highest fall at -9.5% over the last year, followed by St Helens (in the North West) at -7.8% YoY and Darlington at -7.4%. The one area that has seen some significant growth YoY is Merthyr Tydfil, which saw a rise of 20.3%. However, this is still some -14.9% down on the height of the 2007 market.

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For further in depth analysis by Kate Faulkner, also read:-

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