The price of owning a home in the UK rose once again at the start of the year, but the annual rate of rising has been slowing once again, perhaps showing that the market is now in a more mature position for the future.
The latest property price index from the Office for National Statistics shows that the cost of buying a home climbed by an average of some 8.4 per cent in January when compared to the same month a year before.
However, while this still represents a strong level of growth, it was markedly lower than the annual rise in evidence at the tail end of last year, when the average year on year increase was as high as 9.8 per cent in December.
First-time buyer properties are growing in price faster than those further up the ladder as well. In homes purchased by those just getting on the ladder, the cost has climbed by almost ten per cent in the last year, compared to just eight per cent for properties that are higher up in the market.
The largest rises in January were seen across the south of the country where London saw increases of 13 per cent, the east where prices were up 9.9 per cent and the south-east at 7.6 per cent.
With these areas excluded, the average rise across the UK amounted to just 6.5 per cent, showing a maturity in the sector at the moment.
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, said that the overall lower figure was largely due to the softening of the market in London at the moment.
"After storming ahead of the rest of the country in the whirlwind of 2014, conditions have calmed in London and the south-east. The capital has already had the first taste of added pressure placed on prime property in the form of revised Stamp Duty, and the £1.5 million to £5 million slice of the market has also been hit by cold feet in the run up to the general election with the threat of a potential mansion tax," he said.