Billions wiped off value of homes

First-time buyers stand to benefit from a £29bn fall in the total value of homes across Britain since the start of the year, property experts report.

Picture by Rebekah Downes/PA Wire.

Zoopla, the property website, said homes across the UK are now valued at £7.93 trillion in total - down £29bn since the start of 2017.

The fall, seen between the start of January and the end of March, equates to an average drop of £1,004 in the value of a home over the three-month period - or a decline of £11.15 in the value of a property per day.

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Though the national trend is not true in the West Yorkshire town of Ossett, which is among a small number of areas of the country that have seen property values rise in the first quarter of the year.

Zoopla, which analysed data on its website to make the findings, said Wales is the only country in Britain to have seen property values increase over the last three months, with a 0.4 per cent increase.

Property values across England have slipped back by 0.41 per cent over the last three months, while values in Scotland have edged down by 0.08 per cent.

Despite the recent general decline, property values across England, Scotland and Wales are still higher than they were a year ago, Zoopla said.

At a local level, the general downward trend in property values over the last three months was not only bucked in Ossett but elsewhere, in Leominster in Herefordshire, Broadstairs in Kent, Godalming in Surrey, Chepstow in Monmouthshire and Brixham in Devon.

Tredegar in South Wales was identified as Britain’s biggest property hotspot for growth in values over the past three months, with a 1.83 per cent increase. Nearby Ebbw Vale has also seen property values jump by 1.63 per cent since the start of the year.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bridport in Dorset has seen the biggest decline in property values in Britain over the course of the last three months, with a 2.06 per cent fall, the research found.

Parts of London and the surrounding commuter belt were also among the areas to see the biggest declines in property values since the start of the year, including Morden, Northwood and Waltham Cross.

Some recent market reports have said that parts of Britain where house prices are already high and affordability is stretched are seeing a cooldown in house price growth, while areas where home affordability is less stretched are seeing bigger upswings in price growth.

Lawrence Hall, spokesman for Zoopla, said: “We have seen a small fall in house price growth for the first quarter of this year; however, annually prices across Britain are up 1.44 per cent.

“The softening in values and continued low mortgage rates are positive news for first-time buyers trying to get on to the property ladder.

“These prospective home owners will be pleased to see a decrease in overall property values as seemingly unstoppable growth has pushed many areas out of reach in the past year. It’s also encouraging to see the resilience of the Welsh property market which in the past has often lagged behind England and Scotland.”

Over the longer term, house prices across Yorkshire have still recorded a rise, of 5.2 per cent in the 12 months to February. According to the latest Land Registry House Price Index, the average house price in the region is £154,591. The Craven area saw the biggest year-on-year rise between with a 13.7 per cent increase.