Today the ONS released its latest House Price Index, showing UK house price inflation to the end of October 2014. Really, not much has changed. Whilst inflation has slowed a miniscule amount, falling from 12.1% in the year to September to 10.4% in the year to October, this is still a worryingly high figure for those struggling to buy their first home. Indeed, once seasonal adjustments have been taken into account, inflation has actually risen by 0.1%.
Further to this, the fall in inflation overall is masked by a large drop in house prices in Northern Ireland, down from 10.9% in September to 4.9% in October as well as in Scotland, where inflation dropped by almost 3%.
There were also some regional dips in house prices – in the Midlands, North East and East of England house prices fell by 3%; however, this balances out the sharp rise in September in these areas. House price increases have been driven by the high rises in London and the South East, already the most unaffordable areas of the UK.
Overall, house prices are increasing strongly across the UK; house price inflation is higher than it was in the first few months of 2014. For first time buyers, the average cost of a home is now £17,000 higher than it was in January. That makes saving for a deposit an even more daunting task. And unless Santa is particularly generous this year, an entire generation will continue to be forced into a lifetime of insecure and expensive renting.