London House Prices Drop At Fastest Rate For A Decade

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

House prices in London are dropping at the fastest rate in a decade, according to the latest official figures for May.

On average, house prices fell 2.5% between the start of April and end of May and 4.4% year-on-year, says the Land Registry.

Since May 2018, the average price of a home in the capital has slipped from £478,485 to £457,471, a difference of £21,014.

UK average house prices – May 2019

CountryAve house priceAnnual change
English regionsAve house priceAnnual change
East Midlands£189,622-1.2%
East of England£291,2390.7%
North East£127,885-1.0%
North West£164,2610.8%
South East£323,7450.9%
South West£257,5631.2%
West Midlands£196,4890.2%
Yorkshire and the Humber£162,5200.4%

Source: Land Registry

Read house price reports for the UK and Scotland

Health and safety revamp for HMOs

Housing minister Heather Wheeler has announced she intends to streamline health and safety rules for landlords renting out shared houses.

She plans to overhaul the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which sets housing standards for licensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in England.

HMOs are properties shared by more than two households, typically rented by a group of students or young professionals.

The current checklist covers 29 potential hazards – from homes that are too cold or damp to fire safety.

The review will take place later this year and aims to bring the 12-year-old rule book up to date.

Wheeler said: “The changes will make it simpler and quicker for local authorities to assess health and safety standards in rented homes, helping them to improve conditions for tenants and better tackle rogue landlords.

“It will directly address what they have been told by experts in the field: that the system should be simplified, that minimum standards for common health and safety hazards should be developed and that digital solutions for inspecting rented houses and flats should be explored.”

Buy to let borrowing

Landlords took out 5,500 buy to let mortgages in May – the same amount as a year earlier.

Lender trade body UK Finance also revealed buy to let remortgages were 2% up year on year to 15,000.

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