House price growth slips to 3.5% in April: UK HPI

Average UK house prices increased by 3.5% in the 12 months to April 2023 from 4.1% in March 2023, according to the latest figures released by HM Land Registry.

Related topics:  house prices,  UK HPI,  ONS
Property | Reporter
21st June 2023
house stats
"While there have been some fluctuations, the UK housing market has still seen decades of average house price growth"

This morning's data (albeit slightly historic) shows that the average UK house price was £286,000 in April 2023 - £9,000 higher than 12 months ago, but £7,000 below the recent peak in September 2022.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average UK house prices saw a 0.4% rise in April 2023, following a month-on-month decrease of 0.7% in March 2023. The average UK house price rise in April 2023 was driven by rising seasonally adjusted house prices in the North East (1.4%) and London (1.2%).

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the average UK house price increased by 0.5% in April 2023, following a month-on-month decrease of 0.9% in March 2023. The average UK house price rise in April 2023 was driven by rising non-seasonally adjusted house prices in London (2.1%) and the North East (1.8%).

By country

England saw average house prices rise by 3.7% over the 12 months to April 2023, down from an increase of 4.1% in the 12 months to March 2023. The average house price in England was £306,000 in April 2023.

The price of a typical home in Scotland increased by 2.0% over the same period. This was down from an increase of 2.9% in the 12 months to March 2023. Average house prices in Scotland were £187,000 during the month.

Covering the same period, the average house price in Wales increased was up by 2.0% standing at £213,000, down from an increase of 5.5% in the 12 months to March 2023.

In Northern Ireland, average house prices climbed by 5.0% over the year to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2023. Northern Ireland remains the cheapest country in the UK in which to purchase a property, with the average house price at £172,000.

Regional breakdown

The North East continued to have the lowest average house price of all English regions, at £160,000 in April 2023.

The North East is also the region with the highest annual house price inflation, with average prices increasing by 5.5% in the 12 months to April 2023, down from an annual percentage change of 4.2% in March 2023.

London's average house prices remain the most expensive of any region in the UK, with an average price of £534,000 in April 2023.

London was the English region with the lowest annual house price inflation, with average prices increasing by 2.4% in the 12 months to April 2023, up from an annual percentage change of 1.4% in March 2023.

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark CEO, said:

“We are currently in a steady market with stable house prices which is good news for the wider economy. With potential interest rate rises on the horizon, we may continue to see a further shift towards more realistic and sustainable house prices down from the spike seen during the pandemic.

“Propertymark data is showing confidence from sellers, finding a 70% increase in properties available for sale compared to April 2022.

“This is giving buyers more room for negotiation in addition to more choice, with a wide range of properties on the market.”

On the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, Emerson added:

“The demand for property across the UK in the private rented sector (PRS) continues to grow, with no increase in properties coming on the market.

“With rental prices continuing to grow on the back of the high demand and soaring interest rates, there need to be more incentives from the government for landlords to stay in the PRS and continue to provide homes for renters.”

Malcolm Webb, Technical Director at Legal & General Surveying Services, comments:

“Although recent headlines have painted a turbulent picture of the UK housing market, it’s important to put any month-on-month price fluctuations and even annual price movement into context.

"Homeowners are likely, on average, to stay in their homes for well over 10 years, according to the latest government data, so it makes sense for them to take a longer view on house prices. As the latest ONS data shows, while there have been some fluctuations, the UK housing market has still seen decades of average house price growth.

“For potential buyers, we know that this price growth can pose affordability challenges. The UK’s ongoing supply and demand imbalance means that there’s a lot of upward pressure on house prices, particularly in certain areas, but this isn’t the case across the whole of the UK.

"There is a huge amount of regional variation in the UK property market that’s masked when we just focus on average prices and speaking with a local expert can help new buyers take advantage of that.

“What’s most important for buyers is that they find a home that’s right for them. When faced with the rising cost of living it’s natural that many people will weigh up whether they want to meet some of the additional costs associated with buying a house, such as the price of a home survey.

"However, it is crucial that buyers don’t skimp on this vital part of the home buying process. Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision any of us undertake. Arranging a professional survey can ensure that buyers make this decision with as much information as possible and protect them from any unexpected costs or issues further down the line.”

Vikki Jefferies, Propositions Director at PRIMIS, comments:  

“The figures today are not a surprise given the strain of higher interest rates and unpredictability on the housing market. However, it is a positive sign that house prices still remain well-above pre-pandemic levels, and the downward trend has been much less pronounced than some had predicted at the beginning of the year.

“The main challenge for homebuyers now is a volatile mortgage market, which has seen mortgage rates rise to their highest levels since Q4 2022. With more than 400,000 people seeing their existing fixed deals end between July and September, it is crucial that borrowers seek financial advice as soon as possible to ensure they are getting the best deal.

“Given the upcoming Consumer Duty deadline, brokers must recognise that it is essential to understand the individual needs of every client to find the most suitable product for them during this period. Mortgage networks’ training and workshops can provide invaluable support for brokers in managing customer and lender relations at this time.”

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