UK house price growth slows, says ONS

Houses in Brighton Image copyright PA

UK house price growth eased in the year to April, partly due to a slowdown in London, official figures have shown.

Prices rose by 5.5% - compared with a 9.6% rise in the year to March - the slowest annual price growth since December 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

"The pace of annual house price growth fell across the majority of the UK in April 2015," the ONS said.

Prices in London rose 4.3%, the lowest growth rate in two-and-a-half years.

"If, as this report suggests, the extent of the drop-off in annual prices between March and April is due to the price slowdown in London, this underlines quite powerfully the extent to which the capital can skew the UK average," said Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Property Finance.

"But while annual London prices fell below the UK average for the first time in nine years in April, I wouldn't expect them to stay there for long."

Last week, a survey published by property services group LSL suggested that house prices in the smartest parts of London have fallen by up to 22% since last autumn.

In the year to April, Northern Ireland saw house prices increase at the fastest pace in the UK, rising 8.8%. Prices in England were up 5.8%, in Scotland 2.2% and in Wales 1.3%.

On a monthly basis, UK prices fell by 1.3% from March, with the average house price standing at £271,000.

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