Annual house price growth slows across the UK, house price index shows

Taylor Scott International News

Most regions in the UK saw annual house price growth fall in 2014 taking the average price to £189,002, according to the latest Nationwide house price index. Across the UK as a whole prices rose by 1.1% in the final quarter of the year and are 8.3% higher than they were in the fourth quarter of 2013, the data also shows. This has fallen from 10.5%. The North of England was the only region not to see prices slow on an annual basis and London was again the top performing region for the second year running with prices up 17.8% over the last 12 months. It means that prices in London are now 35% above their 2007 peak with the price of a typical property in the city now at £406,730. Amongst the other English regions, the Outer South East and Outer Metropolitan areas continued to outperform, recording double digit annual growth rates. Yorkshire and Humberside was the weakest performing English region, with prices up 1.5% over the year while annual price growth in Scotland moderated to 4.2%. The Nationwide says that 72% of housing transactions in England should benefit from the new marginal stamp duty regime, based on the 2013/2014 pattern of transactions, with 27% paying the same and just 2% paying more. The data also shows that amongst England’s major towns and cities, St. Albans was the top performer, with prices up 24% year on year while Manchester was the worst performing city, with no price growth over the year. Northern Ireland saw an 8.1% increase in prices, although they are still around 47% below their 2007 peak. Wales was the weakest performing region in 2014 and saw annual price growth slow from 5% in the third quarter to 1.4% in the fourth quarter. A breakdown of the figures show that in Scotland Aberdeen was the best performing area, with prices up 12% on the previous year. Fife saw the weakest growth, with prices up 1%. In Scotland those purchasing properties above £254,000 between now and 01 April 2015 may benefit from the new Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) regime ahead of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax being introduced. Around 15% of purchases in Scotland in 2013/2014 were above this threshold, and the potential savings could be significant with the Nationwide estimating around £5,900 on average. It says this could encourage prospective buyers to bring forward their purchases. Wales saw a second consecutive quarter on quarter fall in house prices, with a 0.6% seasonally adjusted decline. The annual rate of growth slowed to 1.4%, making Wales the weakest performing region in 2014. Mid and West Wales was the best performing area, with prices up 7% year on year. Home buyers in Wales are set to benefit from the new stamp duty arrangements, with the tax payable on a typical home mover property currently £165,699 cut by around half to £814. While around 45% of transactions in Wales are exempt from stamp duty due to… Taylor Scott International

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