House price index reveals a buyers' market in London


House price index reveals a buyers' market in London

Thu 01 Feb 2018 by Frances Traynor

New data has revealed a widening gap between asking prices and achieved sales prices for property in London and the south-east of England. However, the figures from Hometrack's UK Cities House Price Index reveal regional variations with cities such as Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester achieving price growth.

While house prices in the capital have grown by 1.8 percent annually, a fall in demand means sellers are more willing to discount their asking price and buyers are in a much stronger position to strike a favourable deal.

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Discounting on prices

Hometrack analyses housing market trends across 20 UK cities, plus regions and nationally, to reveal trends in prices. In its December report, it revealed that house price inflation is at an average of 5.4 percent, but price growth of more than 7 percent across the year was registered in four cities Edinburgh (8.2 percent), Birmingham (7.5), Glasgow (7.2) and Manchester (7.0).

However, prices fell in three cities  Oxford, Cambridge and Aberdeen  and the data showed that discounting on prices began to narrow in most cities but increase in London.

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said: "The level of discounting provides insight into the strength of underlying demand for housing across UK cities. Asking prices tend to act as the 'shock absorber' to softer pricing as demand weakens. However, once discounts get close to 10 percent, this is when falls in headline prices start to occur."

Meanwhile, HM Land Registry revealed that it registered 76,327 property sales in December 2017. The most expensive residential sale was for a terraced property in the City of Westminster that was sold for £10,075,000, while the cheapest residential sale was a terraced home in Llanelli, south Wales, for £15,000.

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