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London recorded the lowest annual growth in house prices in the year ending April 2018, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Prices in the capital increased by just one per cent over the year, following a general slowing in annual growth seen since mid-2016, according to the ONS.

The second-lowest annual growth was in the north west, where prices increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to April 2018.

Overall, average house prices in the UK increased by 3.9 per cent over the year, down from 4.2 per cent in March.

This is its lowest annual rate since March 2017 when it was 3.7 per cent, the ONS said.

The country’s annual growth rate has slowed since mid-2016 and has remained under five per cent, with the exception of October 2017, for the last two years.

Lucy Pendleton, founder and director of independent estate agents James Pendleton said: “The capital has narrowly avoided a third consecutive month of negative annual house price growth, but the gulf between London and the regions remains a sign change is in the air.

“It is now a stubborn fact of this market that London is bottom of the class.

“As the regions continue to give chase, London is at best rocking on its heels with property in Westminster weighing most heavily on the numbers outside the City with a contraction of almost 10 per cent annually.”

Still, London continued to have the country’s highest prices, with the average home in the capital costing £485,000, followed by the south east and the east of England, which stood at £325,000 and £286,000 respectively.

The south west saw the country’s highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 6.1 per cent in the year to April 2018. This was followed by the west midlands at nearly six per cent.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former Rics residential chairman, said: “Behind the numbers bears out what we’re finding on the High Street – transactions are falling while listings have increased but not making up for an historic shortfall whereas demand is relatively flat.

“As a result, the increase in house prices is more to do with the lack of supply of appropriate property in places where people most want to live rather than a marked improvement in confidence.

“Looking forward, we do not expect major change but do hope more sellers appreciate the difference between vanity and sanity when it comes to recognising these new market conditions.”

Source: City A.M.

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