09 September 2019

Little change in UK house price growth in August

  • Annual house price growth remained subdued at 0.6%

  • Prices unchanged month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors

Annual house price growth remained below 1% for the ninth month in a row in August, at 0.6%. While house price growth has remained fairly stable, there have been mixed signals from the property market in recent months.

Surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have increased a little, though key consumer confidence indicators remain subdued. Data on the number of property transactions points to a slowdown in activity, though the number of mortgages approved for house purchase has remained broadly stable.

Housing market trends will remain heavily dependent on developments in the broader economy. In the near term, healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, though uncertainty is likely to continue to exert a drag on sentiment and activity.

What impact do transport links have on house prices within major cities?

We recently updated our research on how the proximity to either a tube, tram or railway station impacted property prices in London, Manchester and Glasgow, after taking account of other property characteristics, such as property type, number of bedrooms and local neighbourhood type.

Premium compared to property 1,500m from station

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London homebuyers appear willing to pay a greater premium for being close to a station, compared with those in Greater Manchester and Glasgow.

Buyers in the capital pay an extra 9.4% to be within 500m of a station (equivalent to £42,900 on the price of an average home in London ) and 4.1% (c£18,800 extra) to be within a kilometre of a station. This probably reflects the greater reliance on public transport in the capital, with residents less likely to drive.

London also has the densest network of stations and services, with 94% of properties within 1.5km of a station, compared with 72% in Glasgow (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport area) and 70% in Greater Manchester.

Residents in Manchester are also willing to pay a significant premium to be near a station – 7.8% (c£12,600 based on average prices in the region) to be within 500m and 3.3% (c£5,300 extra) to be within a kilometre.

Recent years have seen a further expansion of Manchester’s Metrolink network to the airport and the opening of the ‘Second City Crossing’. Metrolink saw a 9% increase in passenger journeys in 2017/18, the strongest growth amongst England’s light rail and tram systems.

The premiums paid to be near rail links in Glasgow are lower at 3.8% to be within 500m (approximately £5,700) and 1.7% to be within a kilometre (c£2,500). Glasgow has the largest network of suburban railway lines in the UK outside of London. The area covered by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) includes 185 railway stations with a further 15 subway stations in Glasgow city centre. The districts best served by the network include Glasgow City, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire, where over 80% of properties are within 1.5km of a station.

Monthly UK House Price Statistics

1The price premiums quoted relate to average prices in each region at Q1 2019, consistent with our special report.
2Department for Transport, Light rail & tram statistics 2017-18, Table LRT0101

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About the author

Robert Gardner

Robert Gardner is Nationwide’s Chief Economist, leading a team which provides economic analysis and advice, focused on developments in the UK economy, with particular emphasis on the housing market and house prices.

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