House price up 5.4%in September, says ONS

The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices increased by 2.5% over the year.

House price growth picked up in September, suggesting stability is returning to the market following last year's Brexit vote. With the average London home costing £483,568, however, the capital remains by far the most expensive place to live in the country. This was followed by the South West (6.6%) and the East Midlands (6.4%).

With non-housing inflation now running at approximately 4.5%, according to the retail price index (RPI), and the national average price gain sitting at 3%, there are many who argue that the current situation is one of stagflation.

The report analyzed Northern Ireland's quarterly prices and found the average price increased by 6.0% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period a year ago.

Jeff Knight, Director of Marketing at Foundation Home Loans, commented: "The continued shortage of homes on the market remains one of the key drivers of house price growth, rather than a particularly resilient market".

This is the 10th consecutive month where the growth in London house prices has remained below the United Kingdom average.

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Prices rose 7.3 per cent in the year to the end of September in the north west and 5.6 per cent in the south west; London, by contrast, saw a rise of just 2.5 per cent - the lowest of any United Kingdom region.

"Limited stock and high demand continues to drive annual house price growth, and it's only making home ownership a more exclusive club", said Duncombe. "It is likely that, while many will sit back and see through the Christmas period as a result, there will be no medium to long-term impact on the UK's appetite to buy property, with the cost of borrowing still very affordable for the masses".

On a regional level, the largest annual growth was in the North West of England, at 7.3% and up from 5% in August 2017. With wages growing just 2.2% in the last 12 months, the growing challenge facing first time buyers is plain to see.

We also have the thoughts of Richard Snook, the Senior Economist at PwC: "The trend that has been emerging over the summer and autumn is the rest of the United Kingdom outperforming London". Buy-to-let lending increased by 4 per cent despite the withdrawal of tax incentives dampening growth in the market.

Meanwhile the better-than-expected figures from the ONS have pushed business consultancy PwC to say that its forecast for the 2017 housing market - that prices would rise three to five per cent - is likely to end up at the upper end of this range.

In July 2017 the number of property transactions completed in the United Kingdom decreased by 15.2 per cent when compared with July 2016. Up until this point, a combination of low mortgage rates and high rates of employment have helped balance out the squeeze on household incomes from stagnant wages and rising inflation.

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