December 2017 Property Market factfile

A round up of the latest property market news, collating survey data, statistics, trends and information about the property market. (All figures below are the most recently available data.)

UK House Price Index
Data source: Land Registry
UK average house price = £223,807,  down -0.5% in the month, up 4.5% in the year.
Monthly index (where January 2015 = 100) is 117.4

House price growth was highest in the East Midlands and South West, at 7.0% and 6.7% respectively. The slowest house price growth recorded was in London which was 2.1% in October, compared to 2.9% in September – the eleventh consecutive month in which London was below UK average.

The supply of new houses coming onto the market was slowing, at a net balance of -14% after two stable months.

Over the last year, the average price of new build property has increased by 12.3%, and the price paid by first time buyers has increased by 4.2%.

UK average house price = £226,821, up 0.5% in the month, up 2.4% in the quarter, up 3.9% in the year.

House prices continue to be supported by demand outstripping supply, which is predicted to continue. Increased affordability issues are likely to slow housing demand which will ease price growth. the first time buyer Stamp Duty amendment is likely to provide stimulus, particularly in London and the South East where there is most impact.

The value of the UK’s housing stock has increased by 48% to £6 trillion from £4.1 trillion in the last ten years. This is equivalent to an average of £70,000 per household in the owner-occupied and private rented sectors.

England and Wales average house asking price = £302,865 down -2.6% in the month and up 1.2% in the year.

New sales asking prices predicted to be an average 1% higher in 2018: resulting from growth of first time buyer properties of 3% and second stepper properties of 2% and the likelihood of -2% falls for more expensive properties and London property prices.

December showing an average -2.8% (-£8,178) seasonal fall in asking prices of property put up for sale.

UK average house price = £209,988 up 0.1% in the month, up 2.5% in the year.

A modest impact likely as a result of the budget decision to abolish stamp duty (SDLT) on the first £300,000 purchase price for first time buyers purchasing property valued up to £500,000. In the regions that would be affected the most, first time buyers already paid little or no stamp duty when the SDLT threshold was £125,000. The Nationwide predicts that 81% of London buyers and 35% of South East buyers will continue to pay SDLT. Some benefits may be passed on through higher house prices (although the Office of Budget Responsibility estimates this will be very modest).

Permitted development rights are having a positive impact on the improvement of property supply. ‘Change of use’ additions (including the conversion of larger homes or offices into smaller homes or flats) have doubled between 2006/07 and 2016/17 to 37,000 (of which 18,000 were permitted development).

LSL / Acadata
Average England and Wales house price = £300,859, 0.3% from last month, up 0.9% in the year.

House price growth is at its lowest level since April 2012, although, without the inclusion of London and the South East, annual price increases would be 3.3%.  One year ago, annual house price growth was 6.3%.

Affordability remains the key factor in house prices, reflected in the Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). ASHE figures show median annual earnings in London to be £36,010 and median house prices £460,000, giving a ratio of 12.8.  In the North East the figure is 4.7.  London’s cheapest boroughs are faring better than the more expensive London boroughs, although the majority of even these have seen house price drops.

House prices in the South West were the highest in England and Wales, at an average 4.3% price growth in the month.  All five areas (Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Bristol and Gloucestershire) showed growth, topped by Bristol and Gloucestershire where annual house prices increased by 7.1% in both areas.

The Vale of Glamorgan increased the most annually, at 9.6%.

HM Revenue & Customs [December update published on 21st]
The provisional number of UK residential property transaction completions (>£40k) for October 2017 was 105,260, representing an increase of 1.7% between Sept-Oct 2017, and the seasonally adjusted figure is 9.2% higher than October 2016. The number of non-adjusted residential transactions was 1.1% higher than September 2017, and 13.3% higher than October 2016.

The number of non-residential property transactions increased by 12.1% between Sept-Oct 2017. This is 9.6% higher than October 2016.

Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency group in the UK, has published its Monthly Lettings Index for November 2017. It reports that the ‘accidental landlord’ market (people who rent out property instead of waiting for a sale) has added 80,000 rental homes to the market. In London, 12.5% of homes up for rent were previously available for sale – the highest number in ten years. Figures were lower elsewhere in the country, where sales are stronger. Average accidental landlords rented for just 15 months, compared to the average investor landlord who will rent out property for 17 years.

Land Registry Price Paid Data
Of the 101,008 residential sales received for registration in October, the most expensive residential property sale was a flat in the City of Westminster, which sold for £15,750,000. There were 479 residential property sales valued at £1m or more in England and Wales, 253 of which were in Greater London.

The cheapest residential sale was a semi-detached property in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which sold for £18,500.


UK HPI Regional figures (all percentages are positive unless indicated otherwise)
October 2017 Average price (£) GBP Monthly change % Annual change %
England £240,860 -0.6% 4.7%
Northern Ireland (Quarter 3 – 2017) £132,169 3.0% 6.0%
Scotland £143,544 -0.7% 2.8%
Wales £153,316 0.8% 4.5%
East Midlands £184,544 0.2% 7.0%
East of England £289,168 0.1% 6.1%
London £481,102 -0.9% 2.1%
North East £127,224 -0.1% 2.4%
North West £154,056 -2.0% 3.9%
South East £322,311 -0.5% 4.6%
South West £251,376 0.2% 6.7%
West Midlands Region £186,351 -1.1% 5.2%
Yorkshire and The Humber £155,281 -1.1% 3.3%

UK HPI Average monthly price by property type

Property type October 2017 October 2016 Difference
Detached £340,996 £323,441 5.4%
Semi-detached £211,014 £200,703 5.1%
Terraced £179,327 £172,619 3.9%
Flat or maisonette £201,527 £194,540 3.6%
All £223,807 £214,107 4.5%

Rightmove regional figures

December 2017 Average price (£) GBP Monthly change % Annual change %
Greater London 605,203 -3.7 -1.8
South East 403,419 -1.8 1.1
South West 296,929 -3.2 2.1
East of England 339,716 -1.8 3.1
West Midlands 213,068 -1.7 4.3
East Midlands 201,695 -2.4 3.8
Wales 173,342 -5.2 1.8
North West 180,003 -2.9 2.4
Yorkshire & Humberside 175,776 -2.8 4.0
North East 146,090 1.3 4.7

Focus on London – Best and Worst (-) annual performers according to:

Rightmove December 2017 Average Price (£) GBP Monthly change % Annual change %
Camden 1,185,740 2.0 19.2
Newham 415,700 0.1 9.8
Islington 720,235 -3.7 -10.1
Hammersmith & Fulham 925,085 -2.4 -10.1
LCL Acadata November 2017 Average Price (£) GBP Monthly change % Annual change %
Redbridge 467,523 -1.0 8.6
Haringey 638,120 -1.0 8.0
Hammersmith & Fulham 842,750 -2.8 -14.9
City of Westminster 1,311,770 -5.7 -18.2

RICS Survey Overview
The RICS Residential Market Survey for November 2017 reported that a lack of new instructions persists. The housing market is stabilising in most areas, although London and the South East, and also East Anglia, are seeing negative house price trends.

The next three months are likely to see little change in house prices. London is the only area where positive activity is though unlikely in the next year.

New buyer activity reduced to -19% in October but improved in the last month to -5%. New house sale instructions slowed for the 22nd consecutive month.

There was a decline in interest from prospective tenants for the first time since 2015, at -16%. New landlord instructions also declined, leaving rental expectations fairly flat.

Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the UK’s leading property website, displaying details of homes for sale or rent to the largest online audience. It is consistently ranked the number one property website in the UK (source: Experian Hitwise). It has around 90% of all properties for sale and at any time displays a stock of over one million properties to buy or rent, worth around £270 billion. The site attracts over 130 million visits from home movers each month with time on site averaging over one billion minutes per month (Rightmove data, 2017).

LSL Acad E&W HPI is derived from Land Registry (LR) house price data, seasonally and mix adjusted by property type. © Crown copyright material reproduced with the permission of Land Registry. The prices are smoothed to show underlying trends. LSL Acad E&W HPI includes cash purchase prices and is the only index based upon the complete, factual house price data for England & Wales, as opposed to a sample.

UK HPI: Monthly house price inflation, calculated using data from Land Registry, Registers of Scotland and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland. This replaces the previous House Price Indices separately published by Office of National Statistics and Land Registry.

All figures within this article are correct at the time of going to press, and are reproduced in good faith. No responsibility will be taken for any decisions taken based on the information contained herein. Always seek professional advice.

Next Monthly Market Fact File due in January 2018.