Comment: at 8.1% London’s house price growth is lowest in the UK – but these are not quite unprecedented times

·1 min read
 (Matt Writtle)
(Matt Writtle)

You know the housing market’s gone bananas when house price growth of 8.1 per cent seems low. Especially when this equates to just under £40,000. In one year.

But we are living in extreme times and London’s house price growth is, in fact, currently the lowest in the country.

I often find it’s hard to get a sense of what’s ‘normal’ in the UK property market but this level of growth is not the norm – over the past 20 years an 8.1 per cent price rise would have made a region a top performer in 43 per cent of months.

The last time such a price increase put a region at the bottom of the table was almost 18 years ago in November 2004, according to JLL.

The market had boomed from 2002 and 2003 with price growth of at least 21.2 per cent across all regions thanks to historically low interest rates (at 5.7 per cent they were the lowest they’d been since the Fifties) and falling unemployment, which had dropped to 5.2 per cent.

Both are lower today, but a severe lack of homes for sale is 2022’s bonus factor.

Chart hopeful homebuyer anxiety levels alongside house price fluctuations and the lines likely correlate pretty closely.

If there’s any comfort in looking back it’s surely how many of the desperate first-time buyers of 20 years ago are the smug homeowners cashing in today.

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