Latest government figures: property prices continue to rise despite Brexit fears
Official government statistics indicate that the value of property in the UK has continued to rise, despite public anxieties and uncertainty following the result of last year’s EU referendum.
The latest UK House Price Index summary, published on September 12th, showed that the average property value in the UK increased by £11,000 (5.1%) to an average of £226,185 in the 12-month period ending in July 2017.
Latest figures show that the highest increase was in England, where the average home is now valued at £243,000 – a significant increase of 5.4% over the last year. This makes property investment an appealing prospect in the current market, but while the value of property continues to rise, it is worth noting that, particularly in England, sales have fallen.
In fact, statistics show that the volume of housing transactions dropped from 75,417 to 74,962 between May 2016 and May 2017*– a fall of 0.6 per cent. In England, the UK's largest housing market, the number of transactions that took place fell from 60,179 to 58,209 – a notable decrease of 3.3%.
One possible explanation for this is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase a buy-to-let property, with the Guardian newspaper reporting a 50% reduction in the number of buy-to-let mortgages being approved this year.
The introduction of a series of new laws, alongside changes in tax regulations, has placed more restrictions on would-be landlords, who are further crippled with buy-to-let mortgages becoming increasingly difficult to secure. This has all made it harder still to obtain a second property at an affordable price.
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*Due to a period of 2 to 8 weeks between completion and registration of sales, volume figures for the most recent two months are not yet complete, so they are not included in the report.