House prices dropped by 0.7% – more than the average for the South East – in Wealden in April, new figures show.
But the drop does not reverse the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area grow by 15% over the last year.
An imbalance between supply and demand for properties has remained the primary reason behind climbing house prices across the UK throughout the pandemic.
The need for larger deposits and constraints on accessing mortgages have pushed homeownership further out of reach for many first-time buyers – despite Government figures showing 50% of renters would be able to afford the monthly payments.
In a recent major speech in Blackpool, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a “comprehensive review” of the mortgage market would take place in a bid to help more people onto the property ladder.
The average Wealden house price in April was £409,806, Land Registry figures show – a 0.7% decrease on March.
Over the month, the picture was similar to that across the South East, where prices decreased 0.3%, and Wealden was lower than the 1.1% rise for the UK as a whole.
Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Wealden rose by £53,000 – putting the area seventh among the South East’s 64 local authorities with price data for annual growth.
The highest annual growth in the region was in Milton Keynes, where property prices increased on average by 18.4%, to £323,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in Slough gained just 3.8% in value, giving an average price of £304,000.
First steps on the property ladder
First-time buyers in Wealden spent an average of £327,000 on their property – £41,000 more than a year ago, and £67,000 more than in April 2017.
By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £455,000 on average in April – 39% more than first-time buyers.
Owners of flats saw the biggest fall in property prices Wealden in April – they dropped 1.3% in price, to £198,699 on average. But over the last year, prices rose by 8.4%.
Among other types of property:
Detached: down 0.7% monthly; up 16.7% annually; £618,652 averageSemi-detached: down 0.6% monthly; up 15.9% annually; £374,329 averageTerraced: down 0.6% monthly; up 13.4% annually; £312,516 average
How do property prices in Wealden compare?
Buyers paid 7.1% more than the average price in the South East (£383,000) in April for a property in Wealden. Across the South East, property prices are higher than those across the UK, where the average cost £281,000.
The most expensive properties in the South East were in Elmbridge – £667,000 on average, and 1.6 times as much as more than in Wealden. Elmbridge properties cost 2.8 times as much as homes in Southampton (£240,000 average), at the other end of the scale.
The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea.
Average property price in April
Wealden: £409,806The South East:£382,791UK: £281,161
Annual growth to April
Wealden: +15%The South East: +11.9%UK: +12.4%
Highest and lowest annual growth in the South East
Milton Keynes: +18.4%Slough: +3.8%