Mapped: UK property price plunges – and 10 towns and cities suffering biggest drops | Personal Finance | Finance
While house prices continue to fall fastest in the southern and eastern regions of England, new data shows that declines are now “spreading further afield”.
Scotland saw the biggest upward trend in prices with 1.2 per cent growth in October, in contrast to the East of England, which saw prices fall by as much as 2.4 per cent according to Zoopla’s latest House Price Index.
Richard Donnell, executive director of research at Zoopla, said: “Buyer demand is being hit by higher mortgage rates and the pressures of living.”
Although the first half of 2023 registered a “rebound in demand” as mortgage rates fell towards four per cent, Mr Donnell said the jump in borrowing costs over the summer had dampened demand again.
He continued: “It is a fifth lower on an annual basis and 25 per cent below the five-year average for October. The result is a rapid slowdown in price growth from +9.2 percent a year ago to -1.1 percent today.
“The South of England has been at the forefront of price reductions so far, but Zoopla’s data shows that these are now spreading further afield.”
Looking at the figures, Mr Donnell said Zoopla’s local house price indices show four in five housing markets are registering annual price declines, up from less than one in 20 just six months ago.
He said: “The scale of price falls is modest, limited to very low single digits. No markets are registering annual price reductions of over five percent.”
However, he noted: “We expect some markets to start to see annual price falls of over five per cent in the coming months as prices continue to adjust in the face of weaker purchasing power. “
According to Zoopla, the largest annual price falls are recorded at the greater postal area level in Colchester (CO), where prices fell by 3.5 per cent over the year. This is followed by Canterbury, Luton and Brighton – all London commuter areas.
Meanwhile, prices in Halifax (HX) are 3.6 per cent higher than a year ago and 2.4 per cent higher in the postal area of Motherwell (ML) in Scotland.
Regional house prices fall
Regionally, the 2.4 per cent fall in house prices was greatest in the East of England, followed by the South East, London and South West at 2.2 per cent, two per cent and two per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, house prices fell by 0.2 per cent, 0.2 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively in Wales, the Mid West and the East Midlands.
House prices in the North West fell by 0.2 per cent, while prices in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber fell by 0.1 per cent.
From a city perspective, Bournemouth house prices fell by 2.6 per cent in October 2023, followed by Cambridge, Southampton and Aberdeen, with prices in each area falling by 2.3 per cent, two per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.
According to the Zoopla index, the ten cities with the biggest fall in house prices include:
- Bournemouth -2.6 per cent
- Cambridge -2.3 per cent
- Southampton -2 percent
- Aberdeen -1.9 per cent
- Portsmouth -1.7 per cent
- Oxford -1.3 per cent
- Bristol -1.1 per cent
- Nottingham -0.4 per cent
- Cardiff -0.2 per cent
- Sheffield -0.1 per cent.
What will happen next?
Looking ahead, Zoopla projects mortgage rates will drop to 4.5 percent by the end of 2024 and remain at that level until 2025.
In addition, Mr Donnell said: “Our expectation is that house prices in the UK will fall by an average of two per cent over 2024.
“The number of homes for sale is at a five-year high, which means sellers need to price competitively if they are serious about selling. This is likely to keep prices under pressure.
“The current overvaluation of house values has mainly been driven by the rise in mortgage rates over the past 18 months. House prices need to fall further and incomes rise or mortgage rates fall further to reset affordability and support demand or sales.”
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