For quite a few months now, the UK housing market has been on the up. In both March and April, average house prices rose by 9 percent year on year. For anyone who already owns their home, that’s great news. For anyone looking to get on the property ladder, it sucks.
But now there are signs that the trend is reversing. According to the monthly Zoopla House Price Index, annual growth slowed to 8.4 percent in May. And in one city at least, house prices are falling. The Scottish port city of Aberdeen – admittedly not the cheapest of places anyway – saw house values drop by 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.
In every other major city, house prices are still on the rise. Of the three smaller nations that make up the UK, Wales showed the strongest year-on-year growth, at 11.6 percent, with Northern Ireland at 8.3 percent and Scotland at 6.1 percent. Meanwhile, in England, the region with the strongest growth was the South West (10.5 percent), followed by the East Midlands (10.2 percent) and the North West (9.3 percent).
But it’s not all amazing news for homeowners. In London, house prices rose a mere 3.6 percent in May, compared with 12 months previously – perhaps reflecting the fact that many people don’t see themselves sticking around in the capital for long post-pandemic. (It could also be a result of the soaring cost of living in an already very expensive city.)
Zoopla, an online estate agent, also noted that the average time it’s taking to sell a property is now beginning to rise, having fallen to a record low in early 2022. That suggests house prices could start falling across the board by the year’s end.
Did you see that the world’s first multistorey skatepark has opened in the UK?