London house prices forecast to drop compared with inflation across year

House prices in London are predicted to fall in real terms across 2017 - marking the first time this has happened since 2011 - according to an index.

Property analysis firm Hometrack predicts house prices in London to be increasing by between 2% and 3% annually by the end of 2017 - which could mean values there fall in real terms when compared with inflation.

Hometrack's latest report shows annual house price growth in London is already running at less than a third of the levels seen a year ago.

In April, house prices there were increasing by 3.5% annually - compared with a 13% surge a year earlier.

House prices in London are now rising at the lowest rate seen for five years, Hometrack said.

Predicting a 2% to 3% rise in London property prices this year, Hometrack's report said: "With the level of inflation increasing, this means London is set to record a real terms drop in prices over 2017, the first time this has happened since 2011."

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation picked up to 2.7% in April - the highest level in nearly four years.

Some other cities in southern England - where house prices are already relatively high compared with local wages - have also seen a big cooldown in house price growth.

In Oxford, house prices fell by 0.6% annually in April. A year earlier, house prices in Oxford had been rising by 8.4%.

In Cambridge, house prices saw 2.2% annual growth in April, down from 13% in April 2016. Annual house price growth in Bristol has slowed down from 12.9% a year ago to 5.9%.

Hometrack's report said: "This steep deceleration in growth reflects weaker levels of demand from home owners and investors in the face of affordability constraints, tax changes and weaker market sentiment."

Hometrack, which monitors house prices across the UK's 20 biggest cities, found Manchester continues to record the strongest annual house price growth, with an 8.4% annual rise in April.

The report said: "The ratio of sales to new supply in Manchester indicates relatively tight housing market conditions which points to continued upward pressure on house prices."

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said: "Outside southern England, we anticipate prices will continue to increase over 2017 as households take advantage of low mortgage rates and an improving economic outlook."

Here are the average house prices in April across the cities covered by Hometrack's index, with the annual change:

:: Manchester, £155,000, 8.4%

:: Leicester, £164,600, 7.7%

:: Birmingham, £152,100, 7.7%

:: Nottingham, £144,400, 7.2%

:: Southampton, £225,600, 6.9%

:: Bristol, £265,700, 5.9%

:: Edinburgh, £206,200, 5.8%

:: Bournemouth, £278,600, 5.4%

:: Portsmouth, £224,600, 5.3%

:: Leeds, £157,300, 4.6%

:: Sheffield, £131,700, 4.6%

:: Liverpool, £115,800, 4.4%

:: Newcastle, £126,200, 4%

:: Cardiff, £194,900, 4%

:: Glasgow, £115,900, 4%

:: Belfast, £129,100, 3.7%

:: London, £489,400, 3.5%

:: Cambridge, £430,300, 2.2%

:: Oxford, £400,400, minus 0.6%

:: Aberdeen, £179,000, minus 3.8%

10 PHOTOS
Most viewed property of the year
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Most viewed property of the year
This unassuming three-bedroom detached house in Martins Heron in Berkshire doesn’t immediately look like the kind of property to draw the crowds. However, the fact it was used as Harry Potter’s home in the first of the films means we were intrigued to see inside this £475,000 property that was ideal for commuting.
This was an impressive seven-bedroom home in Upper Denby, on the market for £1.3 million - with plenty of rustic charm and a wood-burning stove. However, we all know the real reason this made it to the list of the most-viewed properties: it’s the enormous play area complete with pirate ship that you can just catch sight of through the lounge window.
This five bedroom relatively newly-built mansion has every whistle and bell you could wish for - from a cinema and games room to a gym, swimming pool, and a dining room that’s big enough for a grand piano in the corner. It’s still on the market for £1.05 million, and is right next to Lincoln Golf course if you fancy playing a round.
Unsurprisingly, this development project on Chadwick Road in East London has been snapped up. At just £1 million you got 13 rooms over four floors - with off-street parking for three cars. No wonder it was the seventh most popular home for us to look at, and dream that with a bit of elbow grease we could have a huge London property... and we could finally park somewhere near it too.

This is a home that comes with a dream lifestyle. For just £1.4 million, you can get an incredibly swanky five-bedroom farmhouse in seven acres of lovely Welsh countryside. You also get a two-bedroom barn conversion - either to house visiting family, or to run as a holiday letting business. The house is still in the market - so that dream could still be yours.

Ever fancy your own posh lakeside hideaway with its own jetty just over an hour from London - for just £2.8 million?

Quite a few people did, judging by the fact that this new development in Cirencester was the 5th most viewed house of the year.

For just £545,000, this 6-bedroom house in Donaghadee could be yours. The property itself is very recently developed in an elegantly rustic New England style. There's plenty of room, and a dream bathroom. But possibly the reason it features so high up the list of most-viewed houses is that it comes with a paddock and stable - perfect for anyone with horsey aspirations.
It’s easy to see why this pretty £375,000 cottage is in such high demand. First is the fact it has been rebuilt from reclaimed stone, so combines old world charm with handy modern features (like a good-sized kitchen and fancy bathroom). Then there’s the location - right in the centre of the village of Holmfirth - best-known as the setting of Last of the Summer Wine.

This impressive house in Bromley in Kent has footballer written all over it. From the pale grey colour scheme, to the acres of space, and the enormous patio for entertaining, there's plenty for a footballer to love. At just £1.7 million it’s pocket-change for them too. For the rest of us, there’s the chance to dream of a mansion within commuting distance of London for the price of a flat in Notting Hill.

There was a time when a semi-detached five-bedroom home in Hampstead Garden Suburb was the sort of thing that ordinary families could aspire to. Now it's the kind of thing we spend our time daydreaming over on property websites: marveling at a 90 foot garden and the fact it has a garage. The price tag of £2.25 million means it's the kind of house we can only ever afford to look at online - which is probably why it's the most viewed property of the year.
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