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House prices slow in the UK, ONS report says


By Dave Baxter


The growth in UK house prices continued in the year to June but at a slower pace than before, according to Office for National Statistics data.

A 26-page ONS statistical bulletin, House Price Index, June 2014, said that prices had increased by 10.2 per cent in the year to June, down from a 10.4 per cent annual increase to May.
Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 6.3 per cent in the year to June.

Some claimed the UK housing market could be cooling beyond London and the South East.

Brian Murphy, head of lending for the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Tighter lending regulations and the summer slowdown have started to inject a double dose of reality into the housing market, with the rate of price rises outside London and the South East far lower than the UK average.

“Nevertheless, the slowing of growth between May and June has been modest at best.”

Sophie Carter, UK director of US property investment company CityR, said: “The UK housing market is finally showing signs of cooling, as house price growth dips 0.2 per cent in the year to June.

“London’s economic strength and restricted supply will help it buck this emerging slowdown for some time, but it is by no means immune to the limitations of consumer demand, and we expect this slowdown to gather momentum as wage increases continue to lag the rate of inflation.”

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “The lively market in the capital has visibly distorted the image, with prices rising by a far more prudent 6.3% once London and the South East are removed from the frame.”

Stephen Johnson, managing director, commercial mortgages, Shawbrook Bank, said: “The factors being attributed to the cooling of house prices have limited implications for the private rental sector, whether it’s the MMR, the new mortgage limits on the Help to Buy scheme, or the continued lack of certainty around new housing supply.”

Adviser view

Daniel Bailey, mortgage adviser for Derbyshire-based Middleton Finance, said: “I’m based more in the north, in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. The increases over the past couple of years have been very gradual there.”

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