House price slowdown in London comes to a halt

UK cities price growth

Property prices in major United Kingdom cities have recorded their strongest quarterly growth for three years.

Manchester and Birmingham were dubbed the engines of United Kingdom house price growth as both cities continued to see solid gains.

The annual rate of growth across United Kingdom cities has risen to 4.7%, said the property business, while average prices have risen 3.5% in the last quarter.

But lower turnover and restricted supply mean growth for 2017 is expected to plateau at between 2 and 3 per cent, according to Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Hometrack.

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Instead of London leading the way on yearly growth Birmingham (7.7%), Manchester (6.8%), Leicester (6.8%) and Nottingham (6.8%) were the fastest rising.

House prices in these and other cities continue to rise off a low base, supported by a lack of housing for sale and low mortgage rates.

Hometrack said it believes the slowdown in London has "bottomed out" but admitted that the real growth potential for house prices is now "outside southern England".

Annual growth in May was 5.1 per cent a year, down from 8.8 per cent in May 2016. Since 2009 house prices in London and Cambridge have increased by 85% while in Glasgow they've risen by just 12%. House prices in London have grown 90% since 2009 but growth in ten cities has been below 30% over the same period.

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This takes the average price in the 20 cities covered by the index to £250,200 but there is some regional variation and some locations have seen a considerable slowdown, such as London where growth has fallen from 13% to 3% in the last 12 months. The challenge for businesses operating in London is lower turnover, it believes, which is the market response to weaker demand. Overseas interest keeping United Kingdom house prices stableLiz Syms, chief executive at London-based Connect Mortgages, commented: "With the weakening of the pound, we are getting interest still from overseas, which helps keep the prices stable - as well as the shortage of houses". Increases are lowest in the highest value markets, where growth has been in single digits for the past year.

The price growth was led by regional United Kingdom cities in the Midlands and North, rather than the traditional South East.

On current trends Hometrack says that it does not expect to see the London index to slip into negative year on year growth during 2017.

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