Despite a national slowdown in property prices, driven largely by London and the South East, East Anglia is seeing a slow increase in house prices. Breaking it down by county, Suffolk is currently outstripping Norfolk, according to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics’ House Price Index.
Overall, house prices in Suffolk rose by an average of 1.65% in the month of July, contributing to a 4.7% rise in the year from July 2017 to July 2018. By contrast, house prices in Norfolk increased by just 0.4% in July, with a 3.4% rise in the year to July 2018. Over the past five years, the average Suffolk homeowner will have seen the value of their property increase by around £72,000, compared with a rise of £59,000 in Norfolk.
St Edmundsbury saw the largest house price gains over the period from July 2017 to July 2018, with the average property price rising 8.2% to £300,111. Average house prices in Babergh (£291,445), Suffolk Coastal (£285,697) and Mid Suffolk (£274,327) were also all above the UK average of £231,422. The average house price in Norfolk was £246,256.
Across the East of England as a whole, house prices rose by an average of 2.4%, which was below the national UK average of a 3.1% increase. Despite London house prices still being the highest in the country, property price performance in the capital lagged well behind many other regions, with the average house price falling by 0.7% in the year to July 2018. The North West had the highest price growth over the year, at 5.6%, followed by the West Midlands and the South West, which both had a 4.4% increase.
Commenting on the figures, Lawrence Bowles, associate director at estate agents Savills, said: “People are waiting until we have got a clear idea on what Brexit means, before they make a big financial decision like buying a house. We are also starting to see a reverse ripple effect, which originally only hit London but now house prices in the South East and East of England are slowing as well.”
He added: “As house prices in London rose out of reach of many buyers, they looked out to the South East and East where they could get more house for their money. Now, house price affordability in those regions has also become stretched.”
Quoted in the Telegraph, Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart Estate Agents, commented: “The hubbub around Brexit has reached fever pitch over the last couple of weeks, but aspiring buyers, home sellers and investors must not bow to the hysteria and remember the fundamentals of the market remain the same … House prices across the UK have risen by 31% in the last ten years alone, and in some areas across the West Midlands and the North West today prices have risen by almost 20% on the year. Hardly an indication that we are heading for a house price crash.”