Local Range: Average house price inflation slips as localised markets diverge

Knight Frank's overview of the UK residential property market

UK house price “growth slipped a little” in September, says Knight Frank, down from an average annual inflation rate of +5.6% in August to +5.3% last month… But the scene is becoming ever-more localised, with pockets of out- and under-performance making overall averages not entirely representative of on-the-ground activity.

Cities and their surroundings – including most London boroughs outside of PCL – are putting in above-average growth, while some areas – notably Scotland and the capital’s Zone One – are stumbling.

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Property prices in Prime Central London dipped for the fourth month in a row, by 0.4%, in September, taking the annual growth rate to -2.1%. But even here there are dramatic differences between local markets: Chelsea, at the bottom extreme, has seen house prices tumble by 9.8% in the last 12 months, while values in the City & Fringe area have risen by 4.8%. Step further out from the centre, out east to the London Borough of Newham, and ONS data records epic annual price inflation of 23%.

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The prime country house market looks to still be slowing up, with annual growth trundling to near-static +0.5% in September; that’s quite the chunk off 2014’s +5.2% high-point. Stamp duty is still the principal culprit behind dawdling high-value markets, with price inflation easing as higher transaction costs are factored into valuations and offers.

Affluent towns and cities continue to out-perform more rural properties, although the gap seems to be closing.

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Despite all the uncertainty around Brexit, Knight Frank’s “sentiment index” tells us that householders are feeling a bit better than they were in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum. “As the plan for leaving becomes clearer and starts to be put into force, there may be further periods of uncertainty in the wider economy,” says KF’s Gráinne Gilmore, “but the housing market has so far adapted to this major shift in direction for the country.”

knightfrank.com