Shropshire Star

Shropshire housing market bucks UK trend as prices rise not fall

House prices in Shropshire rose last summer despite the average property across England and Wales falling in price, new figures show.

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House prices in Shropshire rose last summer despite falls seen elsewhere across the UK

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the median average house in the county was valued at £250,000 in the year to September 2022 – up from £240,000 in the year to June.

Nationally, house prices fell in 2022 for the first time in more than a decade from £279,000 in September 2021 to £270,000 for the same month last year.

Elsewhere in the region, Telford and Wrekin house prices remained steady last summer, with the median house in the borough costing £205,000 in the year to September – in line with the year to June.

In Powys, house prices in the Welsh county rose during the same period, up from £220,000 in the year to June to £230,000 in the year to September.

The figures mean that house hunters in Shropshire now need 7.6 times their average income to buy a home as the median average salary for a full-time employee in the county stands at £32,954.

A decade ago, the average house in Shropshire cost £169,995, which was 6.9 times the average wage of £24,775, but houses are now 11 per cent less affordable than 10 years earlier.

House hunters in Telford and Wrekin now need 6.7 times the £30,815 average income in that borough to buy a home, and in Powys, first time buyers need at least eight times the area's average salary of £28,590.

Nationally, the recent fall in house prices follows more than a decade of steady rises following the 2008 financial crash.

Recent data also shows prices have dropped across England and Wales entering 2023, with estate agents blaming Liz Truss' disastrous autumn mini-budget for the fall in activity as some buyers were forced to re-negotiate on price due to reduced affordability.

Nicky Stevenson, managing director at estate agent group Fine & Country said: "A significant proportion of the sales completed at the beginning of the year had to weather the impact of autumn's mini-budget and sudden rise in mortgage rates and many buyers will have re-negotiated on price as a result of changing affordability."

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, added: "January’s drop in annual house price growth tells us a lot about the detrimental impact of the mini-budget but very little about how the UK property market will perform this year."

Meanwhile, Henry Parkes, senior economist at the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank said: "Home ownership is horribly out of reach for working families trying to buy a home of their own, putting continued upwards pressure on rents and enriching landlords further.

"The Government must grasp the nettle, reform the land market and planning, and invest in the affordable homes the country needs. Only then will everyone be able to access secure, good quality and affordable housing they need."

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