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The continued cooling of the market in London, with buyers maintaining a degree of caution during spring, has continued to drag down UK house prices overall. Annual growth in the capital, for the year, to April 2019, was the lowest of any UK region. Prices fell by 1.2%.

Based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), prices rose by an unadjusted 0.7%, month on month, in April, which was the first rise in eight months.

London continues to be the most expensive place in the UK to buy a property with an average price of £472,000. This is closely followed by the South East and the East of England with average prices of £319,000 and £289,000 respectively. Prices in the South East of England also dropped 0.8% during April, which was the first time since 2011 that annual prices have dropped in the region.

So, it is clear that, not for the first time, London house prices are pulling back the wider UK market, which has already been slowing. An overall shortage of stock, accompanied by low unemployment and mortgage rates continues, however, to prop up prices. Many vendors also continue to be convinced that there will be a post-Brexit bounce in prices. Right now, only those vendors that are prepared to recognise and accept the current market conditions are likely to be successful in selling their properties.

Such data reinforces the viewpoint that the property market is still struggling, due to cautious buyers, with an uncertain backdrop of Brexit, political and economic circumstances. Significant regional variations do exist, but it’s clear that London and the South East continue to apply brakes to the broader UK market.

Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

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