There are more signs that Britain’s roaring housing market is slowing down

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Annual house price rates of change, January 2006 to April 2017
source
ONS House Price Index, UK: Apr 2017

It’s good news for prospective house buyers – new data shows that although house prices have continued to rise across the UK, there has been a further slowdown in the rate of price growth.

Figures released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK house prices increased by an average of 5.6% between April 2016 and April 2017. That figure has fallen sharply from the 8.2% annual rate seen in July last year following the Brexit vote.

The index is a further indication of a rapidly cooling housing market. Nationwide’s monthly housing index recorded an even lower 2.6% increase in house prices in the year to April, and recorded a drop in UK house prices in March, April, and May this year, a change from the consistent month on month rises seen before the referendum in June 2016.

Both a drop in prices and in growth rates suggest the housing market is still feeling the effects of Brexit, which caused a rise in inflation, saw reduced consumer confidence and stagnated wage growth.

Key ONS findings:

    The average UK house price was £220,000 in April 2017, £12,000 higher than in April 2016 and £3,000 higher than last month. Average prices remain highest in England, at £237,000. Scotland saw the highest rate of growth, with an increase in house prices of 6.8% over the year. In comparison, Wales saw an increase of 4.2%, Northern Ireland of 4.3% and England of 5.7%. London’s growth rate was among the slowest in England, third only to the North East and North West. The Orkney Islands saw the highest increase (24.1%), while neighbouring Scottish islands Na h-Eileanan Siar saw the biggest drop (-15.3%).

Meanwhile, London rental prices grew 1.3% in the year leading to May 2017, an annual growth rate below both the averages for Great Britain and for England.

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Average house price, by UK country, January 2005 to April 2017
source
ONS House Price Index, UK: Apr 2017