House prices grew two per cent year on year for September according to new figures - and a senior agency chief has declared this to be good news for the market.
Nationwide says house prices also grew 0.3 per cent from August to September to sell for an average of £214,922.
However, London house prices fell 0.7 per cent year-on-year to £468,544 for September and the third quarter, a slightly less aggressive fall than the 1.9 per cent fall they experienced in the previous quarter.
Overall price growth slowed in the south of England to 0.3 per cent for the three months to September, while the north saw an average drop of 1.7 per cent for the quarter.
However, some regions showed contrary trends - Yorkshire & Humberside prices were up 5.8 per cent on the year, with the East Midlands up 4.8 per cent.
“These numbers are actually quite good news because they show a fairly steady market after house prices fell by their largest amount in six years in August. Once again, we’re finding that the market continues to be supported by a shortage of stock and low mortgage rates, as well as new buyers returning from holiday keen to take advantage of some more realistic pricing” says Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman and the head of his own north London agency.
However, he cautions: “It seems unlikely that the proposed additional stamp duty on foreign buyers will help to bring down prices or make more homes available for local people considering a large proportion support new development in London, many of which contain the affordable housing we lack.”
Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online agency Yopa, says the latest figures may be setting the pattern for 2019.
“As we move into next year, prices are likely to continue to rise at this rate, roughly in line with inflation, with supply and demand in balance. Since housing supply only changes very slowly, it will take an increase or decrease in demand to realign the market and get prices rising faster, or slowing down and falling” he suggests.
Another online firm, House Network, says many buyers are sitting on the fence because of Europe.
“We don't expect a significant change in the property market until political uncertainties are resolved and the outcome of Brexit is more clear, especially for overseas buyers" says the agency’s founder, Mark Readings.