People who are hopeful of getting onto the property ladder in the New Year have a reason to be optimistic as house price growth continues to decline. This is according to a study by the Nationwide Building Society.
The average property prices in December 2022 fell by 0.1% which is the fourth consecutive time it has fallen month-on-month. It also continues the longest losing streak since the 2008 financial crisis.
Nationwide found the average house sold for £262,068 last month, down £1,700 when compared to November. It means house prices are now only 2.8% higher than they were one year ago.
The UK’s housing market is looking far more promising for first-time buyers. On top of the decline, interest rates on home loans are also easing from the high levels reached in September as a result of the mini-budget crisis.
Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, said: “December saw a further sharp slowdown in annual house price growth to 2.8%, from 4.4% in November. Prices fell by 0.1% month-on-month, a much smaller decline than in the previous couple of months.
“But the main factor that would help achieve a relatively soft landing (especially for house prices) is if forced selling can be avoided, and there are good reasons to be optimistic on that front. Most forecasters expect the unemployment rate to rise towards 5% in the years ahead, a significant increase, but this would still be low by historic standards.
Robert continues: “Moreover, household balance sheets remain in good shape with significant protection from higher borrowing costs, at least for a period, with around 85% of mortgage balances on fixed interest rates.”
The southwest of England saw the highest slowdown in terms of property prices. While the likes of Scotland and elsewhere saw the most rapid decreases.
According to Nationwide, the following are the current average house prices heading into the New Year. Please note these figures are correct as of the fourth quarter of 2022.
- South West, £307,588, 4.3%
- East Midlands, £233,459, 5.3%
- Wales, £205,666, 4.5%
- West Midlands, £240,975, 6.1%
- North West, £208,600, 6.0%
- East Anglia, £285,776, 6.6%
- Yorkshire and the Humber, £199,615, 4.6%
- Outer South East (includes Ashford, Basingstoke and Deane, Bedford, Braintree, Brighton and Hove, Canterbury, Colchester, Dover, Hastings, Lewes, Fareham, Isle of Wight, Maldon, Milton Keynes, New Forest, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swale, Tendring, Thanet, Uttlesford, Winchester, Worthing), £344,027, 4.3%
- Northern Ireland, £176,637, 5.5%
- Outer Metropolitan (includes St Albans, Stevenage, Watford, Luton, Maidstone, Reading, Rochford, Rushmoor, Sevenoaks, Slough, Southend-on-Sea, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Waverley, Woking, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham), £428,201, 4.2%
- North East, £156,892, 5.9%
- Scotland, £178,269, 3.3%
- London, £528,000, 4.1%
Visit the Nationwide Building Society website for further information. It also includes a detailed breakdown for each region of the UK.