BBC News

UK house prices up slightly in June, DCLG figures show

image captionMany regions have witnessed a stagnant housing market recently

House prices rose in many areas of the UK in June compared with the previous month, but year-on-year values have fallen, government figures show.

On average, prices increased by 0.6% in June compared with the previous month, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said.

The average UK home was valued at £204,981, although prices were down 2% from a year ago.

But London again bucked the trend, with a year-on-year rise of 1.5%.

The annual change was sharpest in Northern Ireland, where prices fell by 8.1%, followed by Wales, down 5.6%, and Scotland, down 2.3%.

In England, year-on-year prices fell by 1.8%, with regional changes ranging from a 5.1% fall in the North West of England to the rise in the capital.

However, seven of the nine English regions showed month-on-month increases. This was greatest in London with a 1.6% rise in June compared with May. Only Yorkshire and the Humber (down 0.5%) and the North West (down 1.4%) recorded falls.

The snapshot lags behind other house price surveys, although figures from the Halifax also showed month-on-month price rises recently.

Mortgage arrears

The DCLG figures have been published the day after property website Rightmove said that house sellers had been dropping their asking prices.

It said asking prices fell by 2.1% this month after a 1.6% fall in July, but the gap between asking prices and selling prices remained wide.

Meanwhile, those in the north of the UK are more likely to face mortgage arrears than those in the south, according to an analysis by credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's.

"We believe the widening north-south gap in arrears is partly due to the significantly more robust employment trends evident in the south of the UK since the start of the recent downturn in 2007, compared with the trends in the north," said credit analyst Mark Boyce.

"Our study also found that more mortgage borrowers in the north continue to be in negative equity. We believe that the sluggish housing market in northern regions over recent quarters may be partly responsible for this rise."

The agency looked at a sample of 1.5 million home loans across the UK.