The latest Your Move Index has revealed that house prices in England and Wales finished 2016 3.1% up year-on-year. However, some regions saw much more substantial growth.
Hull led the way, registering a rise of 16.2% in property values.
In all, prices rose by 0.4% in December, bringing the average price of a property to £297,678.
However, there is much regional variation. For example, if London and the South East were removed from the analysis, then prices would have risen by 4.4% year-on-year. The borough of Hammersmith and Fulham saw the most prominent decline in prices, falling by 11.5% at one stage in the year.
Despite concerns over Brexit and continued economic uncertainty, prices have now nearly fully recovered from the peak seen in March 2016. This was before the 3% surcharge in stamp duty for buy-to-let properties, introduced in April 2016.
A strong performance in other areas saw every region in England and Wales finish 2016 with positive house price inflation. In fact, December saw some of the highest monthly growth since the start of the year.
Ups and Downs
Annual growth slowed slightly from 3.5% in November to 3.1% in December, with the index report stating the modest rise in prices over the year disguises the volatility before and after the stamp duty changes.
Investors looking to take out landlord insurance on a property will be eager to learn how prices fared by region. The East of England led the way, with a growth of 7.9% recorded year-on-year to December. This was followed by the South East (5.2%), the West Midlands (4.5%) and the South West (4.1%).
On the other hand, there was just a 0.2% growth recorded in Greater London.
Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, stated: ‘As the lower transaction figures since April show, the market faces challenges ahead, but it enters 2017 a lot stronger than many would have expected.’
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, observed: ‘In its place, the South East and other areas with good value property continue to grow strongly, and even in London itself cheaper boroughs have seen strong increases. It will be interesting to see how far the balance in the property market continues to shift from London to its surrounding areas in the coming year.’
‘In one respect at least London remains a microcosm of the country as a whole. Relatively modest overall annual house price growth of 0.2% fails to reflect the dramatically different fortunes of its various areas. The average price in London has fallen each month since March 2016, but this largely reflects a slowdown in prime property,’ he added.