House prices tumble throughout UK


The latest quarterly house price index from Nationwide reports sharp price falls across all regions of the UK. Annual price declines were in double digits in six of the 13 regions, and the remaining seven regions saw single-digit falls of 7.1%—9.8%. Overall the price of an average property in the UK fell by 10.3% year-to-year and by 4.6% between the second and third quarters.


[UKPRwire, Sat Oct 04 2008] The latest quarterly house price index from Nationwide reports sharp price falls across all regions of the UK. Annual price declines were in double digits in six of the 13 regions, and the remaining seven regions saw single-digit falls of 7.1%—9.8%. Overall the price of an average property in the UK fell by 10.3% year-to-year and by 4.6% between the second and third quarters.

A regional breakdown of the index shows that prices in the south of the country fell faster and farther than those in the north. Out of the six regions showing double-digit declines, four are located in the south, with a 10.4% drop in the 12 months to the third quarter of the year. All of the south, with the exception of London, saw price falls of more than 5% over the previous quarter. The largest declines in England were in the South West and East Anglia, which each saw falls of 11.4%, year-on-year.

Prices in the north of the country fared slightly better than those in the south, for the first time since 2005. The worst declines in the north were in Yorkshire and Humberside, which saw falls of 10.1% over a year earlier. Across the north overall, prices in rural areas showed more resilience than those in urban ones..

In London house prices fell by 3.9% in the third quarter and by 9.4% over the same period a year ago – the largest annual fall since 1992. But property in Greater London still remains the most expensive to buy in England, with an average price of £274,124 compared to the national average of £181,973

In Scotland prices have not fallen as steeply as in the rest of the UK, with a 7.1% year-on-year fall compared with the 10.3% drop in the UK overall. However prices fell by 5.0% in July-September, worse than the UK average of 4.6%, suggesting they are weakening further.

In Wales the rate of decline slowed between the second and third quarters, with only a 1.9% fall, but Nationwide warned that this probably did not reflect any relative strength in the market and, with the largest amount of unsold stock in the UK, a further decline in prices was likely.

Northern Ireland bore the brunt of the property price decline, with falls of 10.8% over the last quarter and an annual fall over last year of almost 30%. However a number of factors particular to the region had to be taken into account and the figure seen in context, said Nationwide.

“Given the continuing turmoil of the financial markets and the tightening of credit, as well cost of living increases,” said Lawrence Smith of Decision Homebuyers, “the UK property market is likely to see further price falls and a depressed demand for some time, and it will be even longer before confidence in the market returns.”





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