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April 2018 House Price Index shows excellent growth for the Midlands

In the latest report by the Land Registry House Price Index, UK house prices have grown by 4.4% over the last year, with the West Midlands topping the list as the highest performer. Calculated by the Office for National Statistics, the UK House Price Index offers a comprehensive look at property prices and can be a useful tool if you’re looking to get involved in UK property investment.

Despite minimal drops month on month, house prices are still on the rise annually, with the average property price now sitting at £225,047.

The Midlands saw the biggest improvement in annual price increases, with the West Midlands hitting 7.3% while the East Midlands levelled at 6.3%. Average house prices in each area now sit at £192,648 and £186,071 respectively.

In some good news for the West Midlands property market, the region was also one of the highest performers month on month, hitting a 2.2% growth rate, second only to the North East which saw monthly increases of 3.1%.

London was at the other end of the scale with prices still falling. A 1% annual drop and a 2.1% monthly decrease mean London has seen the lowest annual growth since 2009, the result of a slowdown that has been occurring since 2016. London is also the only region in the UK that has seen an annual decrease, despite the country entering the busiest time of the year for property sales.

monthly prices changes in the UK
Source: Land Registry House Price Index

With prices starting to gain more momentum, the buyer status shows that new build property prices across the country have increased to an average of £286,985, a monthly rise of 2.7%. Existing properties also saw an increase, albeit smaller, a 0.4% increase that means the average price is now £221,850.

Despite these jumps in pricing, demand for housing is down. In their UK Residential Market Survey, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports that new buyer enquiries have fallen for an 11th consecutive month. This drop in enquiries has been attributed to a lack of stock in the second-hand market limiting choice. On the other hand, demand for new-build property has been robust, supported by Help to Buy schemes.

So what does this mean in the grand scheme of things? It shows that despite the uncertainty of Brexit, the property market is returning to full health. While property owners in the capital may still have a while to go, regional areas, in particular, can look forward to continued growth trends, bolstered by incredible inwards investment.

Variation in housing stock will also help as the current selection is subduing buyer demand. With new-build property and city centre living becoming much more popular, investors can take advantage of the increased regional growth and natural demand that is occurring in the UK property investment market.

As the slowdown in market conditions comes to an end, now is a better time than ever to take advantage of the upswing as industry indicators all forecast growth for already high-performing regional cities.

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