Market update – October 2018
House prices in the West Midlands rose the fastest in the UK compared with a year ago according to official figures.
At the end of the first half of 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics, annual growth in property values in this region stood at 5.8%, which in comparison with the national figure of 3%, is almost double.
Locally, again, we have experienced the seasonal surge in activity that comes when the children go back to school. August was a surprisingly busy month and this momentum continued into September. So much for things slowing down on the back of an interest rate rise and in the run up to Brexit!
Whilst we are seeing plenty of activity across both the Lettings and Residential Sales Market, New Homes are proving to be particularly popular with the benefits of Help to Buy really making a difference in this sector. For those still considering a move in 2018 there are some great opportunities built, ready and waiting for you; if you want to know more our dedicated New Homes team will be happy to help.
We already know Worcestershire is a fantastic county, particularly with the benefits of further improvements to road and rail infrastructure still to come, its not surprising to find the local market is outperforming both the national and regional figures and that looks set to continue.
In the first of a refreshed format of our monthly market update we have gathered some of the key figures to give you a snapshot of the market together with a few comparisons and some of the market trends. Needless to say, if you want our advice in relation to your own specific circumstances we shall be delighted to hear from you.
Average house prices across the UK rose by 3% in the 12 months to June 2018, according to the ONS house price index. The annual rate of price appreciation has slowed over the course of the year, largely due to the fall in prices in London.
In terms of overall price growth, the market is fairly stable according to the July edition of the RICS Residential Market Survey although the regional split shows the North, Midlands, Scotland and Wales much outperforming London and the South East.
Over the longer term, an anticipated reduction in supply is expected to support low levels of price growth. Prices are expected to remain unchanged at the national level in coming months according to the June Residential Market Survey from the RICS although in nine regions a net balance of agents expect prices over the next 12 months to be more favourable. Rightmove report the average asking prices of newly-marketed property showed a seasonal drop of 2.3% in the month to the middle of August (£7,218). Excluding the South East and London the fall was just 1.5%
Figures from the ONS suggest the economy grew by 0.3% in July, higher than anticipated. Growth in the three months to the end of July was 0.6%, the highest level since the summer of 2017. Activity in the construction sector rose by 0.5% although manufacturing output fell.
Average earnings grew by 2.9% in the three months to July, faster than anticipated and outstripping inflation, which was 2.4% over the same period. Although employment growth over the same period weakened, the labour market remains robust with unemployment continuing to fall.
The rate of inflation rose to 2.5% in July, up from 2.4% in the previous three months, the first increase since November 2017. Prompting an interest rates rise in August to 0.75%, just the second increase in over a decade.