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North West Property Market Outperforms Other English Regions

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    Halifax HPI Reports Marginal Increase in Average UK House Price

    Halifax’s latest House Price Index reports that average house prices in the UK have increased on a monthly basis following a dip in the previous month. The analysis shows that the average price increased by 0.1% in April after a fall of -0.9% in March.

    The annual growth is also positive, with a rise of 1.1% year-on-year, compared to 0.4% growth last month.

    According to Halifax’s data, the average house price is now £288,949, compared to £287,244 at the start of the year.

    The best buy to let areas and market trends show that affordability is a big issue in the current economic climate, so what effect is this having on the property sector?

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      Value of Flats Increases Sharply Due to Affordability Pressures

      Halifax’s analysis has revealed that the price of apartments is increasing rapidly as affordability constraints put pressure on buyers to choose smaller properties.

      Amanda Bryden, Head of Mortgages at Halifax, said: “Our recent research also found that buyers are adjusting their expectations, with first-time buyers in particular compensating for higher borrowing costs by targeting smaller properties. We see this reflected in property prices for the first few months of this year, with the value of flats rising most sharply, closing the ‘growth gap’ on bigger properties that’s existed for most of the last four years.”

      The index also includes information from other sources. HMRC data shows that home sales increased in March 2024 by 1.4% on February’s figure (seasonally adjusted). Bank of England figures also show an increase in the number of mortgages approved for house purchases in March. It’s up by 1.4% monthly and 20.1% annually.

      Bryden added: “If, as is still expected, downward moves in Bank Rate come into play later this year, fixed mortgage rates should fall. Combined with the resilience displayed by the housing market over recent months, we now expect property prices to rise modestly over the course of 2024.”

      Further Reading: Is luxury real estate a good investment? Find out about this and other topics, such as how to buy a second property or finding a buy to let in London with our latest guides and insights.

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        North West Shows Largest Growth in England as North-South Divide Continues

        Northern Ireland was the strongest performing nation or region in the UK, displaying yearly growth of 3.4%. However, the North West is not far behind, with an annual increase of 3.3%, making it the best-performing region in England. According to Halifax’s data, the average property price in the North West is now £231,599.

        The North-South divide is persisting, with stronger performing regions in the North compared to the South. As such, most price falls are coming from the South of England. The biggest yearly dip in prices was found in Eastern England, registering a -1.1% decline, which was £3541 in cash terms.

        London is still the country’s most expensive region for property, as the average price is an intimidating £539,336. However, London prices have plateaued over the last year, and the latest figure shows marginal positive annual growth of 0.1%. High prices have also hurt the rental yield in London, making it a less attractive prospect for investors.

        Learn more about the UK property market with our latest buy-to-let area guides highlighting topics such as available investment property in Ellesmere Port and buy-to-let property in Royal Leamington Spa.

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        Jessica Ferris

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        Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.