Property prices in Cambridgeshire have dropped by 0.2% in the year up to February 2019 – representing the first fall in house prices in the county for more than seven years.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the last year-on-year price drop in the region was reported in October 2011, when property prices fell by 1.1%. This latest house price fall – to the current average of £289,424 in Cambridgeshire – may represent a change in housing fortunes for the county.
What has caused the drop in house prices?
For the past few years Cambridgeshire has seen a higher rate of house price growth than any other region of the UK. In 2018 it was reported that in the year to November 2017, house prices in Cambridgeshire had grown by 16.4% in contrast to the national average of just 5.1%.
The ONS figures from February also revealed some considerable disparity in different regions within the county with regards to house price performance. South Cambridgeshire saw the largest house price drop, with average prices down 5.6% in the year to February. House prices were down 1.1% in Cambridge itself, but the average house price in the city remains the highest in the county, at £422,834.
Recent political and economic factors are said to have led to the house price drop in Cambridgeshire, and more broadly across the country. Despite this, however, the outlook remains positive – with property developers and agents highlighting all that the region has to offer in terms of traditional factors; such as its excellent connectivity to London and schools, as well as great historical and cultural factors that contribute to improved lifestyle.
The national house price picture
In terms of the national picture, figures show that as of February 2019 the average house price in the UK had fallen by 0.8% from the previous month, and the national average house price had risen 0.6% to £226,234 year-on-year. The figures reported in February were down monthly from 1.7% of growth the previous month; making it the lowest annual rate of growth since September 2012, when year-on-year house price growth was just 0.4%.
There has been an overall slowdown in UK house price growth since June 2016, which has been driven mainly by housing market stagnation in the south and east of England. According to February’s figures from the ONS, London saw the largest house price drop over the previous year, with a 3.8% drop in value. The second largest overall drop was in the South East where house prices fell by 1.8%. Nationwide, the strongest house price growth was in Wales, where the average price rose by 4.1% to £160,000.
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