House prices in England and Wales fell for the fifth month in succession, but some cities bucked the trend with Leicester recording the fastest growth, according to new data.
Overall, average house prices slipped 0.2 per cent in July to £302,251, figures compiled by Rightmove show. Despite the fall, the average price is still up 1.6 per cent on a year ago and all regions of England and Wales have recorded “modest” growth on an annual basis.
Slow activity has held prices down with an estimated 75,000 fewer activities in July compared to June; 2 per cent down on June and 6 per cent lower than the seasonal trend. Transactions in the first seven months of 2018 are estimated to be 4 per cent below the same period in 2017.
The West Midlands recorded the fastest annual growth at 3.3 per cent while the South East and East of England were the slowest at 0.5 per cent.
What effect the Bank of England base rate rise at the start of August will have on the market remains to be seen, Rightmove said.
The average price of a property In London now stands at £625,529 at the end of June with prices falling in almost two thirds (21 out of 33) of the city’s boroughs on an annual basis.
The biggest drops on an annual basis have been seen in the City of London, down 19.4 per cent (albeit on a small number of transactions), Hammersmith and Fulham, and Southwark, both down 11.7 per cent. In both Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham, sales of new builds in previous months or years can explain much of the swing in prices.
Overall, the most expensive borough remains Kensington and Chelsea, where prices are down 1.9 per cent on an annual basis to £1,765,033, while the cheapest borough is still Barking and Dagenham, with an average price of 308,547, up 1.8 per cent annually.