The Midlands has powered to the top of the UK’s house price growth, as demand wanes in previous strongholds.
Online property portal Rightmove said that asking prices in the East and West Midlands increased by 2.1pc in March.
Across the country, the average growth was 1.3pc this month, but annually properties have only increased in value by an average of 2.3pc. In the East Midlands, the average annual rate of growth is 5.7pc.
This signals a slight uptick in growth in the background of a slowing market. Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “Since the start of the decade, the average March price rise has been 0.9pc, so this month’s 1.3pc uplift is an indicator of a shortage of suitable property for sale in many parts of the country, with strong demand for the right property at the right price.”
This is the same average rise as last year, when the market was artificially boosted by the surge of buy-to-let purchases before stamp duty was hiked 3pc in April 2016. The nature of Rightmove’s index, which records asking prices rather than what is paid, can lead to a more volatile reading.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has reported record low levels of stock for sale for many months. In Greater London, asking prices this month rose by 1.4pc, outpacing the annual rise of 0.9pc; the average number of days to sell in the capital also fell to 64 from 71.
This recent rise of the Midlands’ property market comes as affordability is crunched in London and the South-east, and economic uncertainty and stamp duty woes weigh.
Mr Shipside added: “The price-rise crown has shifted from its previous strongholds. The pace is no longer being set by the more affluent commuter-belt south, including London with its international appeal. Neither is it set by the cheaper north driven by a mass of investors swooping on high buy-to-let yields. As markets in other areas of the country become more mature and run out of price-rise steam and froth, the fundamentals of the Midlands have come to the fore.”
“Accessibly and conveniently located in the middle of the country, the area offers mid-range and relatively affordable prices at an average of around £200,000, whilst also exhibiting local economic breadth and strength.
"As other parts of the country suffer from varied factors such as highly-stretched affordability, changes in sentiment and increased economic uncertainty, it is the Mighty Midlands that is the current powerhouse of price rises.”
This article was written by Isabelle Fraser from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Newsroom email alerts
Register for daily/weekly email alerts with news from The Financial Times, Forbes, Reuters, The Economist and more.