West Midlands is 'bright spot' for house prices as UK-wide growth drops to five-year low

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The West Midlands has been highlighted as a “bright spot” in what was a weak second quarter for house prices across the UK in general.

Property prices rose 2.1 per cent on an annual basis in the second quarter, the weakest rate of growth since 2013, according to the latest Halifax house price index.

The West Midlands recorded the fastest growth in the UK, with prices increasing by 7 per cent year on year, while Scotland and Wales also both outperformed the UK average with growth of 3.7 per cent.

Yorkshire & Humber showed the biggest decline, with prices dropping 3.1 per cent, while the north of England recorded a fall of 2.6 per cent and the southwest recorded a 1.2 per cent dip.

Meanwhile, London showed a slight reversal as prices rose 0.6 per cent, after two consecutive quarters of decline.

The index showed the standardised house price for London was £455,975, almost exactly double the UK-wide price of £227,494.

In May, the index revealed UK house prices recorded their biggest monthly drop in eight years in April, with property experts linking the lacklustre market to low consumer confidence and uncertainty about interest rates.

Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit, which owns the Halifax index, said the latest figures “confirm a further cooling of the UK housing market heading into the summer”, with annual price inflation easing to its weakest since the start of 2013.

“Affordability constraints, the prospect of higher interest rates and heightened economic uncertainty all appear to have held back house prices in the second quarter of this year,” he said.

“A wide regional divergence in house price trends continued in Q2, highlighting that market conditions remain overwhelmingly driven by local supply and demand fundamentals.

“Against this backdrop, the West Midlands recorded the fastest annual house price rise of any UK region, supported by a resilient regional economy, a tailwind from internal migration and future transport infrastructure spending.”

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