Despite increasing by 9.8% in the year to December 2022, there was a reduction of £2,000 off the average house price between November and December 2022 - equating to a drop of 0.4%, according to this morning's figures released by ONS.
The latest figures show that the average UK house price was £294,000 in December 2022 - £26,000 higher than 12 months ago. Average house prices increased over the year to £315,000 (10.3%) in England, to £222,000 in Wales (10.3%), to £187,000 in Scotland (5.7%) and to £175,000 in Northern Ireland (10.2%).
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average UK house prices decreased by 0.4% between November and December 2022, while average UK house prices increased by 0.3% during the same period 12 months ago.
House price annual growth was strongest in the East Midlands where prices increased by 12.3% in the 12 months to December 2022. The lowest annual growth was in Scotland, where prices increased by 5.7% in the 12 months to December 2022. London was the English region with the lowest annual growth, where prices increased by 6.7% in the 12 months to December 2022.
At the country level, the highest annual house price percentage change in the 12 months to December 2022 was recorded in Wales and England, where house prices increased by 10.3%.
Scotland saw house prices increase by 5.7% in the 12 months to December 2022.
Northern Ireland saw house prices increase by 10.2% over the 12 months to Quarter 4 (October to December) 2022.
Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, commented: “A combination of economic turbulence, increasing mortgage rates and a squeeze on household finances has been the perfect recipe for a reduction in the rate of house price growth and that’s what we’ve seen since the closing stages of last year.
"When you also couple these factors with the usual seasonal slowdown that hits the market during December, it would have been more of a surprise had house prices continued to climb.
"However, what’s important to note is that the rate of decline has been far more marginal than many predicted and this should stand the property market in very good stead for the year ahead.”
Iain Crawford, CEO of Alliance Fund, commented: “The property market has gone through a transitional period, whereby buyers have had to reassess their purchasing power, while sellers have had to come to terms with this reduction and make the necessary adjustments to their asking price expectations.
"This has caused house prices to fall gradually over the last few months, but there are already signs that having found a new middle ground, the market has stabilised in 2023.”
James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, commented: “It’s been a long cold winter, with harsh economic headwinds battering the UK on all fronts, so it was only inevitable that they would breach the usually impervious walls of the UK property market at some point.
"The good news is that while house prices have started to cool, the damage has been less severe than forecast and although we’re not out of the woods just yet, we can now see the sunlight through the trees.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: "Clearly, the direction of travel of the housing market is no longer strongly up but it’s not sharply down either.
"These comprehensive but dated figures lay bare the impact on prices of the ill-fated mini-Budget in the fourth quarter of last year.
"On the ground since, we are finding that buyers still have an appetite. However, they are increasingly flexing their muscles and adjusting to an improving bargaining position as stabilising mortgage rates and inflation brings more balance."